A little while ago I promised Claire some pictures of how the deck was built, and like Rome, it certainly wasn’t in a day! It was built over the course of the year back in 2000 and the photos I took of it were from a cheap pre-digital camera and then scanned on a very old HP scanner. Compared to how we do things now these pictures look very grainy indeed. At the time I wrote this about it:

“Building the deck was quite a challenge, but one that A was happy to undertake. He started just after New Year 2000 by drawing up plans on the computer with all dimensions etc in place, these then have to be turned in to the local authority as you can’t do anything to your house or land without first getting their permission… not even put up a fence! After the City had approved our plans A and I spent a cold Saturday in March marking out the back of the house and working out the exact location for the deck footings, by code they have to be 36” deep because of our freezing winters. The following weekend we hired a petrol powered auger and attempted to “drill” the holes but I found it too heavy and difficult to manage so A resorted to digging them by hand until a friend could come over in the afternoon and help him with the auger. Once all the holes were dug the inspector from the local authority came out to check they were the required depth and gave us the all clear. Over the course of the coming week A mixed the concrete and poured it into the cardboard forms inside the holes, adding a long threaded bar which sat about two inches proud of the finished concrete… this is what the deck posts are anchored to.

By now it was early April and we had a four day weekend for Easter and we intended to make the most of it! We’d been along to a local lumber yard the previous Saturday and hand selected the timber, White Pine for the frame and Western Red Cedar for the platform, stairs and railings and had also borrowed a compressed air powered nail gun from a friend … you can’t really blame him for not wanting to hammer home about two thousand deck nails! And that didn’t include the frame, which he built entirely by hand! By the end of the Easter weekend we had a completed platform that we could at least use, it had even been given its first coat of sealant!

Over the course of the summer two sets of steps were added, followed by a three foot high decorative railing. By October everything was done and it passed it’s final inspection with flying colours. It had been in constant use almost every weekend and quite a few evenings for informal meals and general socialising so the time and effort A put in to it was well worth it! “

So, before we were All Decked Out, it looked like this! Just looking at these photos makes me tired all over again!!

[No, not a gratuitous shot of me, look behind me, deck boards under polythene and a big pile of stones!]