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Thanksgiving Deck

Sorry for slacking off with the updates.  This Thanksgiving was a success, I believe.  We hosted it at our house for my wife's family.  We also had some friends of ours and their children with us since they have no family in town.  It was fun and there was some great food, as always.  I ate a nice lunch and then found myself maintaining a fullness through 5 o'clock through random bites of the various dishes every 10 to 15 minutes.

We got quite a bit accomplished with the deck over the long holiday weekend, though, not quite as much as I would have liked.  I'm notorious for underestimating the time it takes to do a home improvement project.  This is why I would make out to be a terrible contractor.  I would underbid labor every time.

All the decking is down. Woo hoo!  (Forgive me.  These photos are from Thanksgiving morning.  I haven't taken any since.)  And, now I'm working on the stairs from the yard to the deck.  It took pretty much all of yesterday, unnecessarily.  When I laid out my stringer plan for the lower stairs, I drew them correctly but then wrote the wrong measurement on my drawing.  So, I wound up making the top step too deep, not compensating for the fact that I was using the existing deck skirting as my top riser.  So, I got the stairs built and realized that there wasn't enough overhang to allow for closed risers.  Well, that's not a compromise my wife we could live with. ;)

As much as I love undoing something, I undid my stair construction, disconnected all my stringers trimmed off the extra 1 1/2", and reinstalled all of them.  I was planning on finishing that set of stairs last night, but I broke my last driver bit.  Speaking of which, the Irwin impact driver bits I bought are great.  I commend them despite the fact that I have made my way through all four that I bought (broke 3, lost 1).  I've been pretty abusive with them and they have all performed wonderfully until my abuse finally became too much for them, to no real fault of their own.  Like anything, they have a lifespan, but a very long one, comparatively speaking.

I really like how the decking looks with the custom "tree-shaped" hole, especially with all the herringbone pattern lines of connection radiating outward from it.  For the record, because everyone feels the need to warn us of tree growth, the joists are 6-8 inches away from the tree.  The closest deck boards are actually being held up by false joists that are connected to the adjacent deck boards.  Therefore, when the tree finally reaches the deck boards in a few years, they can easily be pulled up by removing a few screws, trimmed, and put back down for several more years of enjoyment.  It shouldn't become an issue with the joists for 15 years at the very minimum.

As a little side note bonus, here's a not-very-exciting before and after of the bottom of our front door.  Clearly, we were in need of a new weather strip for the bottom of the door.  I wonder how long it will take to save in utilities the $9.99 it cost me for the strip?  I know.  This was totally off subject.  I just like before and after photos.

Tonight, I plan to finish the stairs to the back yard and get the small staircase towards the front yard finished, as well.  I don't believe that this is underestimation at work here.  But, only time will tell.  After that?  Privacy wall and deck rails.

Here's a quick link to the next deck update blog.

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