Hey there, friends, neighbors, and customers-both-future-and-past--we're building a new deck (11-2013) and I thought it might be fun to watch it unfold, a little at a time, as we build it. The deck was in a place that required something special, I thought, so watch and see if you agree with the design I came up with. Some of you know that I must be watched carefully, as my designs can be a little wild sometimes.
The deck was to go between the house and a pool, and had a wide area length-wise, but only 10 feet between the house and the pool deck. It was to take the place of steps, so people could move from the porch to the ground-level pool, as well as serve as a place for the customer to show off his grilling skills. Because we were cramped in (the 10-foot limitation), I felt the deck needed to be large enough for a few chairs, so guests could relax and look down on the pool without actually being at the pool. We also were restricted by the fact that the customer required rain water flow to pass between the pool and the house, so our deck needed to be open underneath. My plan was to build a deck without a railing, and with steps all the way around it. We'll see--by the end of the project--if I was successful in my design.
The best thing about this deck is that it took the place of steps that didn't have a landing, which can be dangerous. You can see the steps in the first few photos, and see how awkward it must have been to stand on the steps, open the screened door, and pass onto the porch--or vice versa.
Here's a shot of Wes checking out the step stringer. He's making sure that the steps will be level, as well as seeing how much surface area he'll need to add under the 2x10 band to nail the stringer to. You can see a piece of Trex on top of the deck. Wes is using it as a gauge, to make sure the steps are the same height once we apply the decking. Wes is also wearing safety glasses. Safety First!
Please take a good look at this deck. It's about as strong as a deck can be built. The 2x8 joists span seven feet, on sixteen-inch centers. The Building Code says that 2x8s on sixteen-inch centers can span 12-14 feet for floor joists (office space to sleeping rooms). We could have used 2x6s, but I wanted this deck to be "Better than Code." This baby is rock-solid. "It ain't going nowhere," as we literate carpenters like to say. Heck. It ain't. So, "Safety First!" and "Better than Code!" Our mottoes.
That's all we have for this time. It began raining soon after, and we had to pack it in for the day. I keep telling Wes that we have rain suits and rubber boots for such occasions, but he seems not to hear me.
Next--the stringers. You'll see the work slow down a little, because we have to get the stringers exactly right, or the entire project will look like you-know-what.
Chris picks up a broom. Is he going after Wesley for taking a break earlier? Naw. He's cleaning the deck. If you let sawdust collect on the boards and walk on them, they tend to dig into, and scar, the face of the wood. Cleanliness First! Can you see the new screen door Wesley installed? Nice, huh? Actually, the customer picked it out. But without Wesley to install it, there would be an old door (Go back to Day 3) or a big hole there. Thank you, Wesley! And Chris! And David!
Day 5. The end is near!