Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘deck boards

Updating Benches

with 3 comments

The old log benches around the firepit up at the lake have aged to the point of being overly mossy and crumbling from decomposition. Another perfect opportunity for making use of the store of old lumber we saved from the resurfacing of our deck at home.

Elysa is up at the lake this weekend so I asked her to send me a photo of the benches as they looked yesterday.

It’s fitting to use leftover lumber because that’s how the original benches were made when the log home was built at the lake. Twelve-inch cedar log pieces made for excellent firepit seating.

My idea for replacements won’t be made of logs but they will have some cedar boards and be custom made.

I mixed in some green-treated boards for the added strength and weight to bolster the finished benches. After measuring the old log benches, I designed one tall one and a pair of shorter versions to match.

The results are satisfying and I look forward to testing them out by the lake next time we get a chance to drive them up. The simulated firepit on my driveway didn’t quite match the desired ambiance.

Gives me extra incentive to make the trek up to our favorite place as soon as possible!

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Written by johnwhays

November 20, 2021 at 9:15 am

Always Falling

with 2 comments

I never realized before owning acres of forest how consistently trees fall over. Something is always falling, whether we are around to hear it or not. Behind the barn sometime overnight an old dead snag gave up its vertical position to gravity.

I am glad it wasn’t any taller or there’d have been a dent in the barn roof.

This morning dawned soaking wet. Delilah had no interest in an extended walk before her breakfast and took every shortcut possible to show me her goal of getting back to the house after she had taken care of all her important business. I would have been happy to accommodate her, except we had some chickens also interested in a morning snack.

At least that gave Delilah a chance to take a pause inside the barn while I was opening the chicken door and throwing out some feed. She busies herself with futile attempts leaping toward the rafters in naive hope she might catch one of the pigeons roosting up high. I figure it’s good exercise for her.

Due to the rain, my deck project is halted just as I was beginning to get some momentum in removing screws and nails. I’ve decided to leave the boards in place after detaching them, giving something to [carefully!] walk on in place of just the joists. By flipping the boards over, it is easy to see which are no longer attached.

Step on at your own risk.

I also slid in one of the new boards to confirm the dimensions are what I was expecting. These are not what are considered deck boards by today’s standards. The person delivering the lumber called me with concern there might have been a mistake on the order, after Cyndie told him it was for our deck.

The deck was built long enough ago that they spaced the joists 24-inches on center and used 2×6 boards for the top surface. Now decks use 1-1/4-inch thick boards and require narrower joist spacing. The cheapest fix for our rotting boards was to replace them with treated boards in the original dimensions.

It’s like falling off a log, if you know what I mean.

And I know a lot about falling “logs.”

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Written by johnwhays

September 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

Decked Out

with 4 comments

We’ve limped our deck along thus far using patches for the boards that rotted out, but it is getting to the point where the bad spots almost outnumber the good ones.

It’s time to replace them all. For us, the process starts with a search for a crew in the area who are willing to quote the job. Cyndie’s first call landed a person who lives remarkably close and seems hungry for the work. Maybe too hungry. He’s made three visits already, two of the times with a different potential “assistant” in tow to analyze the scope of our project.

He wanted to get to work right away with a verbal “rough estimate” and a willingness to start removing boards yesterday. We’ve got another quote scheduled for Friday, so we are making him wait.

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Cyndie and I took the steps of removing all the furniture and I pulled up a couple boards to reveal the condition of the joists below, hoping to make the quoting process as easy as possible for our estimators. It’s enough to almost entice me into trying to do the whole thing myself, if it weren’t for the nitty-gritty details for which I have no experience, such as what to do about the railings.

Ain’t home maintenance grand?

I’m leaning toward the extra expense of choosing composite boards for the job, specifically to reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance required. The boards that receive some shade from pine trees tend to get mossy and the boards out in the open face extreme UV abuse.

It would please me immensely if we never needed to deal with rotting boards ever again.

Of course, there’s always the other option of just selling this property and moving away to a place that doesn’t involve doing our own maintenance.

Is it too soon for us to move into a senior living retirement apartment?

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2019 at 6:00 am