Well, sort of. There’s still plenty of work to do, like installing railings, stairs, evening out edges, installing facia, and other such things, but the bulk of the work (framing and decking) is complete!
Now, it’s been a while since my last update, and some people are really interested in seeing some pictures. So, I thought it about time to post a few shots of my work. First off, I have a couple photos showing the completed framing:
As you can see, it turned out pretty well (thought not perfect… the right-most joist on the upper deck isn’t quite square with the rest of the frame). Truth be told, I think framing was the most enjoyable part. It’s not terribly tedious, but it really gives you a feel for what the final outcome is going to be like.
Speaking of which, second, I have a couple shots of the completed deck. The first is an attempted overhead panorama. Unfortunately, the image is a bit warped, but it gives you a decent look at the final product:
And lastly, an elevation shot, showing the deck in profile against the house:
Not too bad, eh? Again, there are a few warts that I, having built the thing, are probably more likely to notice, and only one semi-major thing: it appears the lower deck shifted forward a bit during construction, and so the front beam and posts are leaning forward slightly:
I suspect this is minor, so I’m not terribly worried about it, but worst case I can unscrew the joists, lift the deck (which isn’t has hard as you’d think), push the beam back, and rescrew.
So there you have it! ‘course, now we need to find a way to actually use the 250+ square feet of deck we now have…
Well, we’ve finally started moving on the deck front! I went to Cedar Village this morning, the shop owned by our unbelievably generous family friend Roy Crosty, and did a little bit of deck planning. I’m incredibly excited, as the end product looks absolutely fantastic:
As you can see, we’re planning a two-tier deck. This allows us to build a full-width deck while still preserving the basement window for an additional bedroom. And for those we haven’t told, it’s going to be built from cedar! So. Sweet. Not to mention fragrant! Anyway, the materials have been ordered, so now we’re awaiting delivery, which will likely occur some time in the middle of next week. Once that’s done, it’s deck-buildin’ time!
Of course, one can’t build a deck without some tools, so we headed to Rona and picked up a couple items, specifically:
- 12A 7 1/4” circular saw
- 18V cordless drill
- Level and other random bits
And all for just over $100! Yay for clearance items, and me being not terribly picky about my tools! I figure, in the long run, should they prove insufficient, I can always upgrade later.
Unsurprisingly, though, I’m now itching to play with my new tools! So, tomorrow I’ll probably scavange some wood from various scrap piles nearby and build me a couple saw horses. Once that’s done, I might even attempt to move up to a set of shelves (for the new tools ;)!
Well, believe it or not, I achieved all of my necessary goals from yesterday. The garden got staked out, the rhubarb made it into the ground (though slightly the worse for wear, I think…), and the composter is now assembled with a bed of twigs in the bottom, ready to accept it’s first household waste! Which doesn’t sound nearly as awesome when I write it out like that…
Anyway, the rhubarb was probably the biggest challenge. It was previously housed in an old tub that, I believe, was intended to be sunk into the ground and turned into a small pond (thanks, Mom… :). As a result, I had to dig around the outside edge and, eventually, man-handle the thing out of the container, damaging the root ball in the process (which had completely filled the tub, much to my surprise). Fortunately, this plant has already proved itself quite hardy (surviving an artificially induced drought last fall) so I hold out some hope that it will survive unscathed.
The only other tricky bit was deciding where to put the garden. The tree was, thanks to me, unfortunately placed last fall, due to a lack of complete understanding regarding the dimensions of our yard. As a result, I had to take Lenore’s suggestion and extend the garden in behind the tree, in order to use up that dead space… obviously shade-loving plants will need to grow there. You can see the layout in this photo:
In total, the back section is 4’x5’, and the front is 6’x19’, for a total of 134 square feet (I think… :). My goal was to make it possible to divide it up into 2 or 4 square foot sections, rather than doing long rows. We’ll see how that works out.
As if having the in-laws over on the weekend didn’t make things hectic enough, it was also Mother’s Day on Sunday (which is, in part, why the in-laws were here), and to top it off, I was actually feeling motivated and decided to get a bunch of TODO items off my list.
So, in between hanging out with the mother- and brother-in-law and joining my sister and mom for a nice brunch at The Manor Café (which is, BTW, an excellent restaurant… the brunch was really fantastic), I also:
- Got the push mower assembled and the front yard lawn cut.
- Rented a lawn roller and compressed the soil in the backyard and parging, after which I started staking out the garden area (though Lenore and I still need to discuss general positioning, etc ;).
And, as if that wasn’t enough, I also did a little bunny-cage-refactoring. You see, we have this giant, home-made bunny cage, depicted below (note, this is an old picture… the cage went through some other minor refactoring since this photo was taken):
Now, the first thing you might ask yourself is, why so big? Well, the plan was to have our two bunnies co-habitate eventually, but alas, that is not to be. So, until yesterday, Herbie, our smaller rabbit, was in the giant cage, and Chloe was in a rather small floor cage (since her Abscesses made it necessary to keep her cage really clean, a task more easily achieved in a smaller cage). This was doubly silly since Herbie never really used the upper floors, anyway.
But all that has changed! I decided this situation was downright silly (not to mention space inefficient) and modded the mansion, dividing it in half, thus creating two cages, one in the top half and one in the bottom, with Herbie remaining in the bottom, and Chloe now inhabiting the top. Photos to come once I get around to taking some.
Meanwhile, tonight the plan is to get the final garden position staked out, the compost started, and perhaps the unkillable Rhubarb in the ground. And if I still have time, maybe I’ll start planting the annuals that we bought on the weekend…
Here’s the image of the new cage layout. Images of the yardwork, still pending.