Musings defined: ponderings, reflections, meditations, contemplations.
I aim to share experiences, past and present, with the goal of learning and appreciating what life presents.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

All Decked Out

What do you see through our open front door that is new. If you said snow, you would be correct, with about fives inches in the last few days.  If you said, What is new is the deck, then you are on the right track.
I finished building the deck last week.  I feel very blessed that during the last phase of construction, the weather cooperated so I had joyous times in the sunshine and only one day of cold wind.  It was actually enjoyable.  But then don't we have projects so we can use our time enjoyably?
I was telling a friend of mine, Peggy, about how it was all going.  A week after it was almost done she asked what my next project was.  Let's not rush it.  I am getting caught up on my writing, like this blog, although Carroll and I have started a new project, a delicious one.  But that is for next week.
Construction started back in August when I dug out the grass down about 6 inches covering the 21 foot area in front of the house.  Next I dug six holes.  Actually I dug 9 holes but covered 3 of them in; deciding I didn't need them.  After all, this is an exercise in physical exercise.  Wheelbarrow was handy to carry away the dirt and to mix the concrete in.  Six 8 inch sono tubes filled with concrete about 21 inches deep.  The double outside frame of 2X6 treated lumber is securely nailed and screwed and attached to each of the 6 metal saddles that were secured in the concrete when I poured it.  This should ensure the deck does not move eventhough it is not secured to the house.  I have never built a deck before and didn't know what I was doing.  I am grateful to framer Chris next door; Pieter, best friend cabinet maker; clerks at Home Depot, Home  Hardware; and most of all, Harvey at Trans Canada Lumber who had built his own elaborate deck and had lots of tips and ideas for me. 
I am especially grateful to my friend, Scott, who spent a day with me setting up the construction and brought his chop saw over for me as long as I needed it.  That made me faster and more accurate than my old skill saw.  I also bought a new yellow De Walt drill because my old blue drill didn't have the power to put the 3 inch screws in.

Once I listened to my team of experts, (who didn't always agree by the way, aka the extra holes), I could relax more and enjoy the work.  Carroll was a big help when the 16 foot deck boards needed cutting.  She also helped me keep the angles straight.   

As usual this project took longer than I expected.  I was glad I poured the concrete posts before we left in September for our 3 week trip, because the night temperatures fell to freezing when we came back.  As much as I enjoyed building this deck, once I knew what I was doing, it was good to get up off my knees and pull down all the yellow CAUTION tape I had strung up for so long.  Now we can relax on the front deck
or the back deck; in sun or in shade; but in actual fact we seldom just sit around when outside.  When we bought a smaller home, Carroll wanted room to garden.  Maybe I wanted room to landscape and make projects; as long as I don't have to complete them in too speedy a fashion.  The deck is our answer to the increasing tilt of the sidewalk - cover it over.
The bit of wisdom:  I have discovered that idle time gets me into trouble.  I thought retirement meant I could do pretty much anything I wanted, including watching all the TV I wanted.  No!  I am happier when engaged in something productive - like building a deck.  As I reflect back on the blogs I have posted, most tell of effort, whether it is work or play and many include family.


  1. I totally agree, Dad, I'm much happier when I'm actively engaged. And your deck looks great! (at least what I can see of it under the snow)

  2. Nice work, Papa! What a brave project!