Monday, August 31, 2009

Deck - Planters (Stone Veneer)

Monday, August 31

While Dad worked on the 2nd planter, I started applying stone veneer to the 3rd planter box. It was definitely a lot easier starting the 3rd one with having some knowledge of what the heck I was doing... lol.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Deck - Planters (Stone Veneer)

Sunday, August 30

Now that the trim boards have been installed we finally were able to get back to applying the stone veneer to the planter boxes. While my Dad worked on the 2nd planter, I finished up the stone veneer on the 1st planter box. I left one spot open for a stone for Mom as I thought it would be a nice touch for her to place the stone on the planter, that we started together :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Deck - Trim (Level 3)

Saturday, August 29

Tim and I cut and installed the trim for the 3rd level deck today. It was the last of the trim for the deck we had to do. Now... for the really fun stuff.... finishing off the stone veneer on the planter boxes.... I can't wait!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Deck - Trim (Level 2)

Friday, August 28

Today we finished trimming out the sides of the second level decks. It's so much easier to tell the edges of the levels now. I also reset the deck lights in the trim boards, so the step down to the levels will be lit up.

Once the trim is done we'll get back to working on the stonework on the planter boxes.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Deck - Trim (Main Deck)

Sunday, August 23

My Mom and I started trimming out the main deck with the darker Madeira Trex boards. I think it looks really cool looking at the deck from the side and seeing the horizontal lines of the darker boards! We managed to get two boards done before it started raining.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Deck - Benches (Level 2)

Saturday, August 22

In the morning my parents came over, with my Uncle Andrew and got right to work on constructing the benches, for the second level deck. We started by constructing the framework for each. While my Dad and Andrew were cutting the pieces, my Mom and I were screwing them in their places.

It was actually a lot of fun. Because there were 2 benches, my Mom and I had taken one and the boys had taken the other and had a bit of a race. No one won though cause in the end we were all working on both together :)

After the framework was done, Tim, my parents and I actually managed to finish them off with trim, before sunset. I actually had a chance to relax on them for a bit, before the mosquitoes got crazy. I sat there, texting my friend Kelly, that we had finished the benches, and I must say, it was pretty cool feeling to be able to say that they were done :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Deck - Planters (Stone Veneer)

Sunday, August 16

We decided to stone veneer the planter boxes in order to bring a loved element, from the front of the house, to the back. The planters presented a great opportunity to do that and give the deck a different texture.

We started out by covering the planter boxes with roofing felt paper. Then we wrapped it with metal lath, which will give the mortar something to grab onto. We stapled it all in place with a Slapshot Hammer Carpet Stapler. It's basically a stapler that you would use like a hammer and whack the area you want stapled. It's fuuun to use :)

We decided to stone veneer the entire side of the one planter, before putting it in place as it will be mostly behind the bench from the main deck. So my Mom and I mixed up some mortar and started spreading some onto the planter, starting with the bottom and corners.

We had no idea what we were doing at first then learned pretty quickly. We learned that when applying the stone veneer, it's best to keep the stones moist, then "butter' the back with mortar and stick that sucker on. And another thing we learned is it's awful to do it on a ridiculously hot, in the upper 80's/ 90's, day when it's humid. It takes the stones a little time to stick when it's so humid.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Deck - Benches (Trim & Planters)

Saturday, August 15

The next thing to do for the deck is I wanted to install the one trim board on the main deck, that would be covered up by the planter on the 2nd level. So before we started any work, I installed the Madeira color Trex board. I figured installing it now would be easier than working around the planter later.

After I was done installing the trim on the main deck, my Mom and I cut holes for the posts for the 2nd level right deck. At that point the we had constructed the 3 boxes and stood them in their spots to see how they'd look.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Deck - Benches (2nd bench)

Friday, August 7

We finished the right bench, on the main deck, today. Everyone had a hand at different points today. Tim and my Mom screwed together the framework, while I had gone to get some extra supplies and then my Dad came over later, with my Uncle Andrew and we screwed the decking and trim onto it and finished it off.

I'll tell you, it certainly changed the feeling of the deck to more of a room feeling the second the other bench was finished. They're a nice distance.... not too far away from each other for a conversation and when the table is on the main deck, we don't even need more chairs, the benches curve around the table and someone sitting at the table can easily converse with someone sitting on the bench.

Now that both of the main level benches are completed, we can start constructing the planter boxes for the right 2nd level deck. It will have 3 planters and 2 benches attached to them.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Deck - Benches (Trim)

Thursday, August 6

After a little measurement mishap, we wound up taking the bench frame apart that we had constructed yesterday. I thought it would be awful and turned out not to be as bad as I thought. My Dad and I trimmed down the pieces too wide and then Tim and I put it back together and started screwing Saddle color Trex decking onto the top.

My Uncle Andrew and my Dad came back when Tim and I were just about finished with the top deck boards and they helped us cut up and screw on the Madeira color Trex boards as the trim around the sides of the bench. And by the end of the afternoon we completed the left bench and started on the right bench framework.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Deck - Benches (Frame)

Wednesday, August 5

The benches really started to take shape today when we constructed the frame for left main level bench. My Dad ripped the 2x6's down to a size that would be hidden by trim . After that Tim and I cut the pieces and started screwing them into place. It was so cool when they started to form the shape and we could get an idea of the feel that they'd give to the deck.

By spending a little extra, I think getting composite board post sleeves really add to the benches. They are a thin sleeve that fits over the posts and gives the illusion that they are solid composite board.

Since the decking is the composite board, I made the joists 12" apart, just to give it a little extra support, opposed to the typical 16". I also gave the corner some extra joists and support as I liked the open feel with no post under it. It's actually very strong and hardly moved when I jumped on top of it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Deck - Benches (Posts)

Tuesday, August 4

My parents as well as my bother, Brian, came over to help with the posts, for the deck benches, today. We cut all the post and put them inplace. Some of them were being lag screwed right to the joists and the others were just screwed from the bottom.

Brain and I had gone under the deck to screw the posts to the decking. I didn't mind going under there except for seeing a really ugly spider at one point.

We had put some decking boards on top of them to make sure the height was good. I read that the typical height is between 16" to 18" for benches. I designed them to be 16 as I wanted it a nice relaxing height and I have to admit it's also partially due to me being only 5'2". It's actually the same height as some benches Tim's parents gave us as well, so I figured it's probably pretty good.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Deck - Benches (Post Holes)

Monday, August 3

I had taken the week off to work on the deck benches. This was the first week in I don't know how long that it's decent weather and not suppose to ran.... that much anyways.

I wanted to draw lines on the deck for where the posts were going to go. I found out something interesting about Trex boards.... you can't write on them with caulk. It stick to it. Tim had a great idea.... he gave me washable markers, which worked great!

So I drew the holes for the posts. My Mom came over and we tackled cutting decking for the main post supports in the main deck first. I hated to cut the decking.... it was like cutting the siding on our house for the ledger. Oh well.

I managed to lag screw in the first post to end the day with. It's funny how so much prep work goes into something and it doesn't even look like you've done much :)

The main deck will have 2 benches and will be open at the point to go down to the lower levels. The 2nd right level will have 2 benches with 3 planters. And the 3rd level will have a planter.