Deck Day on Dad’s Day

16 Jun

Although things started off slowly, we got quite a bit accomplished today! We certainly couldn’t have done it without my awesome dad! So, thanks dad for taking your day off and spending it with us. I’m glad you didn’t need that band-aid. We definitely owe you some manual labor!!

Since we had my dad around today, we took advantage of his brain and skills to figure out the new stairs situation. You may remember it looking like this:


Yep, pretty awkward. So we spent about a half hour brainstorming and making a shopping list before heading to U-Haul to get a trailer again. The good news is our lights worked, but the bad news is it still took forever. The other good news is, with the extra pair of hands (and a shorter shopping list) we shaved close to an hour and a half off our trip to Menard’s! It also helped that we knew where to find just about everything we needed.

Once we got back home it was time to start building. Our plan was to have one step down from either end on to a platform that connected the two ends. We’d then have one step down coming towards the sidewalk. We would be able to use the two 4×4 posts already in place in the front; however, we would have to do something different in the back. We bought a masonry drill bit so we could anchor our ledger board to the house, but after getting 1 hole drilled it was pretty apparent it wasn’t going to work for the whole thing. So we called the “local” hardware store to see if they had a hammer drill we could rent. They did, and $12 later, I was speeding home because we had just over an hour to use the rental and return it before they closed! Who would’ve thought a store would close at 4pm! It wouldn’t have been so stressful if the masonry bit hadn’t kicked the bucket with 2 more holes to go. So, Mike flew to the other (slightly closer) hardware store to get a replacement piece. By the time he returned we had 13 minutes to finish before I had to leave to return the rental. Fortunately, we squeaked by and got ‘er done!

By this time it was 4pm, all we had gotten done was the ledger, but we were hungry! We hadn’t eaten since breakfast so we took a quick break and devoured the flatbread pizzas and the birthday cake my mom made for us! Here’s a picture of the most delicious cake ever.


Yum! And, I’ll give a shout out to my mom, too- Thanks for cleaning up the kitchen, polishing the stainless steel appliances, and cooking a delicious dinner and dessert for us today!

After we were well-fed and re-hydrated we went back at it. It wasn’t long before the frame was built and the joists were hung. Casey (my sister) and I worked on hanging the joist hangers (yes, we did it after the fact even though we were hanging new joists-it’s easier in my opinion!) and Mike and my dad started working on the last section that needed the joists replaced. By 7:30 (I think) we were done working, had the yard cleaned up and were saying adios to my folks!

Here’s a look at our hard work from this weekend.


Yesterday we put the two 4×4’s in in the section right in front of the front door.


We also put in the new joists!


The stairs were the first to go- any takers?!


Our new platform!


The newly installed joists- they just need the hangers for support now.

What do you think? I think my body is going to be feeling it tomorrow… and the next day… and maybe even the day after that. Let’s take a look at our checklist, because I think it’ll make me feel better to know we got a few things crossed off our to do list.

  • Finish removing the floor boards
  • Enhance the floor support with additional joists and bracing
  • Install 4x4x4 posts in between our full length posts –> Only 3 more to go!
  • Put up joist hangers –> Only one section left!
  • Re-do joists at the front of the house (make them perpendicular to the house)
  • Fix the front set of stairs so it doesn’t look like 2 houses –> I’m counting this as done because all we have to do is build the 3 steps and that is listed separately
  • Install new floor boards
  • Replace the hand rails
  • Build new steps
  • Fix the roof/ceiling with more support and add beadboard

It always feels good to see that list get shorter! My plan is to finish installing the 4×4 posts and the joist hangers this week so we can spend the next weekend laying the deck boards.

How was your weekend? Did you put your dad to work on Father’s day, too?? Thanks again, dad- love ya!


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