Last week my brother in law approached me to help him with a small paving job that totalled 3 metres by 3 metres. So Thursday saw us at the local hardware store pricing pavers, sand and other materials.
Being the ideas man that I am, of course I opened up my mouth and asked him if he considered doing a deck. His reply was that he thought paving would be cheaper, but his wife originally wanted a deck. Hmmmmm, so we priced the initial materials for the deck and found it was a lot cheaper…so the decision was made to make a deck.
Now the actual deck building process should have been a lot simpler than the paving job. However, we soon found out that his back yard wasn’t as low as we initially thought and it required a lot of digging. And a large mound of dirt was quickly made in his back yard. I must add that John did the bulk of the work at this time, as I measured, marked and set up the string lines.
And we soon found the process to take a lot longer than initially thought. By Monday we had dug the pier holes and planned to concrete the post supports in. And we no sooner had 3 of the 6 supports in place when the heavens opened with a huge storm. We joked about how we had dug a swimming pool, and might build the deck around the edges instead. Within 10 minutes the hole was filled with water and I using the hole punch (crow bar), I made a largish hole in the storm water pipe to drain the water away. We had planned to run a agricultural pipe under the deck to the pipe after we finished putting the post supports in. I must also add that handling a crow bar in a electrical storm probably isn’t the wisest thing to do…but it was thrown on the lawn after one quick punch. When the storm passed, we decided to concrete in the remaining post supports and when we had 2 to go, it started to bucket down once again… We gritted teeth and with sheer determination we decided to finish the job. Afterwards we gave each other a high five, dried off and changed into warm clothes and sat down with a very welcome cup of tea.
Today marked the day when we thought we would have most of the deck in place. We were hampered a bit with limited time, as John had to go back to work at 2pm. To save digging, we planned to dyna bolt a length of timber to his back step. I said, this should only take 1/2 an hour to do the 5 bolt holes. By now I should have known better than to give an estimate. It took about 20 minutes to drill each bolt hole into the concrete, with us each taking turns on the drill and having a break.
Anyway, here are some pictures that show us hard at work and you can see how it is taking shape.