Raising a deck

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06.6.11

Over the last couple weekends we’ve been making some real progress with our little deck building project. We began way back last fall with the adding some stone pillars and have continued to add on from there.

A couple days ago I had some Photoshop fun creating a little drawing of how our vision is all going to come together for our yard. So you can get the lay of the land…more or less.

The guys started out by digging six holes to for the new support posts for the deck. We rented a power auger from the Home Depot but after about six seconds and that many rocks it was clear these lovelies were going to have to be dug the old fashioned way.

Once the business of hand digging the holes was finally out of the way they were able to start laying the posts into the freshly dug holes.

They started setting the posts in the holes and cutting the posts to height by calculating what we wanted the finished height to be minus the height of the joists and decking material. Ultimately it would sit flush with the pool rim, making it easy to sit relax and dip your toes in the water on a hot summer night.

Next came building the support beams for the perimeter by nailing two 2 x 8 pieces of lumber together to support the weight of the deck.

Then there was A LOT of leveling, measuring, nailing and leveling some more to build the outer frame that would support the entire structure.

After everything was perfectly in place and held up with some temporary braces to makes sure things stayed level and straight the guys mixed up a batch of concrete to pour into the post holes. The step is key because no one wants to stand on a wobbly deck and once dry this would secure the entire structure together.

Once the cement set in the post holes and it was good and strong they were able to take down the temporary supports and get to adding the deck joists. If you’ve ever seen a house being built it was just like the day when they raise the 2 x 4’s that will form the walls and finally you can really start to see how the space is going to take shape. It’s super exciting.

They placed the joists every 16 inches on center meaning that if you measure from joist to joist every 16 inches would be the center of the next joist. It’s standard code building measurements that’s helpful when you place your deck boards on top. With standard factory lumber the edge of each board will line up with the center of a joist if you use the 16 on center rule. It’s crazy how these things are all planned out.

As if there wasn’t enough fun digging the posts they also had to dig out where the steps would sit that will bring onto the deck from the lawn. Poor guys it was awfully hot and sunny that day. But they persevered with the help of their assistant in charge of coolness.

After all that hard we we have the making of a pretty awesome giant deck area for lounging around the pool. The dimensions are about 19 feet wide and about 26 feet deep spread out over two levels to make up for the height difference from the lawn to the height of the top of the pool.

Overall, we’re pretty please with how it’s shaping up. I can hardly wait till we’re swimming in the pool sitting on some lounge chairs.

Psst: If you would like to see how this all started out check it out here.

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