Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Facelift that's More than Skin Deep - Back Deck

Even when you think you're doing something really simple, old houses have a way of surprising you with more work than you expected.  The back deck on our project house was really, really tired.  It's good and sturdy (or so we thought), but the pressure treated wood had seen better days.  So.....we just wanted to quickly redeck it, using the same sustainable mahogany as the front porch.  Quick and easy, right???

Surprise #1 - No joist hangers.  Each joist was just toe nailed in!  In fact, some of the joists started coming loose when the decking was torn off.

Surprise #2 - No blocking between the joists (those are the pieces of wood that go between the joists to provide more stability).

Surprise #3 - Ineffective moisture barrier on the ledger board - which is nailed right against the house.  Luckily, it doesn't look like there's any damage, except where the sliding glass door was.  And we've already completely redone that part.

Surprise #4 - The domino effect.  This happens every time you fix up one thing, and then something else doesn't look as nice (ah, the domino effect happens over and over again during a renovation!)  We thought the existing railing on the deck looked fine, but now we're having second thoughts.  We might need to make some changes.  Does anyone know the theme from 'The Money Pit'?

So, it ended up being quite a bit more involved than we first thought, but it was important to fix all of those issues.  We think it makes a huge difference - in how it looks and how it will last for the new owners.  Now we just need some warm weather to sit out and enjoy it!

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