Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Deck Project That Just Kept Going and Going and Going

Okay, so we knew that the deck needed some work.  And that weird staircase that ended 8 feet up, in the middle of the backyard - well, that had to go!

But we really didn't bargain for how much work was going to be involved.

So here was the starting point.  Clearly, the gutters had been flooding some areas of the deck for years, creating some rot.  But it seemed limited to the edges and the railing (in fact, one of our contractors took a tumble when the railing suddenly gave way as he leaned on it!)

But we didn't realise that the deck ledger boards were untreated wood - a big no no - and had rotted as well (the only good news was there wasn't any rot on the house itself!)

Or that the 'doghouse' structure that covers the basement staircase had rotted away.

Or that the deck didn't have any footings under it.

Oh, and there was that little issue of grading, so water kept coming into the basement when we had a heavy rain.

So.....we got to do it all over.  And we did it right this time.  But it meant we had to tear everything out and start all over again.

And yeah, that costs a whole lot more money.

The guys from Waterhouse Builders did a great job - as usual!  They started with the doghouse structure.  They had to tear out all the rotted wood.

And then we realized that putting new wood in an area with drainage problems, was just inviting future issues.  So, they jacked up the whole structure and Shaun Scott, our mason, came in and built a new concrete block wall.  That allowed us to change the grading and gave us a solid base to rebuild.

Next step?  The guys put up new, pressure treated ledger boards, to start the deck.  They'll go back and add a layer of flashing, before the decking goes in, to make sure that the water drains completely away from the house.  In this photo, you can also see the fresh new barn boards that finish up the doghouse.

But before they could go any farther, they had the back breaking work of digging footings.  It doesn't look like much with the dirt back around them, but the holes are 48 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter for the new concrete piers.

Once the foundational elements were in place, things started to go quickly!   With the old staircase out of the way, they tore out the remaining roof structure, to create a nice 2nd floor deck off of the Owner's Master Suite.

 And now that we have real footings in place, they started rebuilding the joist structure, that will carry the load of both decks.
Lots of decking and the rebuilt doghouse for the basement entrance
The quickest part of the project is the decking.  Didn't they do a beautiful job of installation.  And the new railings have a wide top on them - perfect for balancing a glass of wine or a beer :-)

But my favourite part?  The PVC skirt boards and lattice, that really dress everything up (and never needs painting!).  
It's not quite finished, but doesn't it look great?

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  1. Wowza! Not for the first time, I wish you were fixing up MY house! ;-)

    1. :-) that's such a nice compliment! Thanks!

  2. It truly is a beautiful job. How did you first discover Waterhouse?

    1. Mike used to work for a builder that did our own home. And when he went out on his own, we started working with him. It's been a great relationship! We love him and his team!


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