A Happy 4th of July

5 Jul

It was a very happy 4th of July for us because we reached a huge milestone on our deck build. We finished laying down all the decking. This has been a long, arduous task, and finishing it was starting to seem like a horizon we would never reach.
Reaching our goal yesterday was due, in no small part, to the help of my brother Chris, who donated most of his day to us. With him staying ahead of us pre-drilling all the holes we were really able to pick up the pace big time. It was also a huge relief as we got to last 5 or 6 rows to be able to stand on the ground to work instead of crawling around on my knees. That made for much more comfortable and speedy work. As expected, it got really hot so we put up 3 pop-up tents over the whole area we working in, which really helped us stay cool, or at least less hot and not sunburned.

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Corinne even brought out a box fan to help keep the air flowing.

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Life under the tents was pretty sweet, and we all had our hats on to keep our heads shaded whenever we did peak out from the tents.

We went like gang busters all morning but we did have to stop for lunch eventually, despite our desire to keep the momentum going. After replenishing we got back to work and kept going until around 5PM. We had it in the back of our minds that we would have to deal with the end of the deck not meeting up exactly with the end of the framing. What we decided to do, rather than ripping down the last board and finishing off with a partial board was to figure out where the last full board would end and cut the framing to match that. We pulled off the rim joist so we could cut all the joists to allow the rim joist to land flush with the edge of the last board. Initially I wanted to mark where the last board would end up and then measure back an inch and a half to allow for the thickness of the rim joist. Instead, Chris came up with the idea of making a template to mark all the joists, all we did was figure out the width of the deck board, plus the gap minus 1.5. I ripped a piece of plywood down to that width and we slid that along to mark each joist. Then we took the lines and transferred them to the sides of the joist with a square so we could cut it with the saw. Luckily we were able to fit the 18Volt Dewalt circular saw in to make the cuts so we could make quick work of cutting all 29 joists.

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It might not look it but I was like a shake a bake chicken by the end of this, I was sweaty to begin with so my arms and face were covered with sawdust completely, Corinne brought me some wet paper towels so I could wipe down and I had to go for a fresh shirt too.
So, the decking is all down now and the end of the joists are ready to receive the new rim joist that will fit flush to the edge to line up perfectly with the cladding we intend to apply around the outside of the deck. The cladding and the stairs are the next orders of business so that’s where our attention will be focused next. But, for now, we’re pretty pleased to look out and instead of seeing plywood or framing, we can see nothin’ but deck!

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