Sunday, March 22, 2015

Plan for Deck and Steps (Steps 1)

I know I have been remiss with my postings. Sorry about that; I just haven't been in the mood to post. I have been continuing to work along...

I have decided on the layout for the deck and entry steps for the JayBee. The four larger pieces in the drawing below are the deck sections that are already built (and currently in use in front of the old house). I won't move them and the planters into place until I'm done working on the front of the JayBee. Until then, I'll use only the steps (numbered 1-3 in the drawing). Directly in front of the entryway, I'll set number 3 on the bottom, then 2 on top of that, and one of the 1s on top of that. (The other number 1 piece will be stored until the deck pieces are put into place. At that time, there will be two sets of steps leading to the deck, as in the drawing.)

Construction of the steps: The first thing I needed to do was cut the pressure-treated underpinnings for the steps. I really dislike working with pressure-treated wood but I think it makes the most sense for this part of the project. It has been frigid cold, and I think we must have set records for crazy strong winds, but we have had enough sun that I set up to cut wood outside.

After all the pressure-treated pieces were cut.

Here are some of the cedar decking boards--all cut, sanded, and stained.

Below is the base of step number 3. I built this three times! When I set the deck boards on top of the base after the first time I built it, the base was too long. Oops! I carefully figured out how much shorter I needed to make the middle three boards. I dismantled the base, re-cut the three pieces, and re-assembled the base. It was still too long! Oh my goodness, I really can make my life difficult sometimes. I had to dismantle the base again, cut the middle boards again, and re-assemble it all again. Finally, after the third time, I ended up with a base that was just right.

At this point, the deck boards installed just fine.

Next, I built one of the number 1 step bases. I only had to build it once! Funny how that made it all go so much quicker.

And with the cedar decking boards added...

Then I made another number 1 step. Those of you that are extremely observant may notice that these decking boards are slightly different from the ones I used on the other bases. It's true; the boards I bought recently don't exactly match the boards I already had. Close enough; they will have to do.

Tomorrow I hope to assemble the number 2 step.

Also see:
Steps 2
Steps 3

While I was working on assembling the steps today and the wind was howling, I caught sight of something flapping outside the JayBee door. I went outside to figure out what it was. The housewrap had torn in the wind. Most of the staples had pulled free along the entire bottom piece of housewrap, all the way to the southwest corner of the house. So, I took a detour to refasten the housewrap to the house and tape up the tear.

Boring, but important: I have been continuing to stain shingles.

The cats have been spending a little more time outside. They are as eager for spring to get here as I am. Check out who is sitting on top of the compost bin. If there wasn't still snow everywhere, George would be in stealth mode; we would never even see him in a photo like this.

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