Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘deck repair

Making Plans

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We are not going to the lake this weekend, but we do have Anna coming to stay at our house to take care of Delilah, Pequenita, and the chickens for a few days. Our plans are more along the lines of the stay-cation in the cities with family and friends variety. That involved a fair amount of pre-planning for my little brain last night.

We will be staying at Cyndie’s parents’ house, which facilitates my heading there directly from work this afternoon and remaining there through Sunday night to go back to work again on Monday morning. That was a lot of days to think through in advance. Makes it feel a little more like a vacation, so that’s fun.

Too bad I don’t enjoy packing for vacations. Somehow, I find a way to get over it.

I’m feeling fussy over other plans we are concurrently trying to form, having to do with needed upkeep of the logs of our home, the consideration of quotes arriving for re-doing our deck, and now our need for some assistance with wild animal control services.

Early returns indicate the costs of each are running in the neighborhood of 2-3 times the price of our desired budget. One, or more, will likely have to wait, and logic tells me it won’t be the animal control.

I’m thinking I may end up honing my [lack of] carpentry abilities and replace the deck boards myself. The logs will likely wait until next year, and we could very well end up applying the recommended two coats of wood protection ourselves to avoid the huge expense quoted yesterday.

For a person who doesn’t like making plans or even decisions, for that matter, these issues coming up all at once are a dreary burden of responsibility. It makes me long to be 5 or 6 years old again.

Those were blissful days…

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Written by johnwhays

September 5, 2019 at 6:00 am

Precious Memories

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We had another company looking at our deck yesterday to quote replacing the boards. While I was waiting for the appointment, I took another shot at pulling up boards to expose more of the joists. The previous person who looked at it suggested getting rid of everything and starting from scratch. Yesterday’s suggestion was much more to my liking. We can just add a board between each of the 24″-spaced joists and put down a new surface, leaving the railings in place.

I like that plan. The handy-man neighbor that was first to look at our project was ready to slap on whatever new boards we wanted to buy, never a worry about the too-wide joist spacing.

Since we are going to keep the railings, I spent some time preparing them for refinishing, while yesterday’s guy took measurements. I’m hoping he got the numbers right because we also chatted the whole time. He used to own racehorses in the early days of the Canterbury Downs track in Shakopee. He understood what it is like to no longer have horses.

As I talked, I was unscrewing the multitude of clips that our friend, Marco Morales, had meticulously placed for a flexible LED light wire Cyndie wanted along the deck railing for a special party while the Morales family was visiting four years ago. Remember these, Marco?

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The clips didn’t hold up well against the abuse our winter weather dishes out and the tube had become almost black as the plastic aged, but it looked great that night!

As I unscrewed each clip, I enjoyed remembering the times we had during that visit. It seems like longer than just four years ago to me.

It is hard for me to imagine we might have an opportunity to make new memories from a future event that will match the peak we reached those days in August of 2015.

Honestly, I don’t know if we are fixing up the deck so we can enjoy it for years to come or to improve the appeal for someone who might want to buy the place, but it doesn’t matter.

I will always have the precious memories of living here.

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Written by johnwhays

August 24, 2019 at 9:09 am

Decked Out

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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

Frustrating Exercise

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Despite my ambitious goals to accomplish many things yesterday (so I could take Cyndie up on an offer to turn my back on projects at home for a day to celebrate Memorial Day weekend with a visit to the lake) I finished far short of the plan. Now I am forced to try to get the grass mowed this morning, long before the dew has evaporated, so we can leave in the afternoon.

Complicating my efforts yesterday, and seriously hindering my progress, was a surprising and very dramatic reaction to something in the air. I started sneezing big time, and my nose began to run like a faucet. That both hindered progress and contributed to my not addressing any of the other things I had wanted to do.

DSCN3490eOn top of that, I ended up needing to make that almost obligatory return trip to Menards for supplies. I was working on patching our deck where boards have gotten soft with rot. The carpenter I called to replace them all is too busy to get to it until later, so he suggested I patch it for now. Following his simplified instructions, I quickly ran into details that required I problem solve.

It took two tries, but I figured out solutions and forged ahead, way behind schedule. Then my nose began to pour and the pry bar I used to pull nails became too worn and wouldn’t grip the nail heads. It was an exercise in managing frustration and rearranging goals. I’ll give myself a C grade for the lesson. (Mike, I needed your nail-puller and expertise!)

It was getting late, and I had all the tools spread out across the deck, so I forged ahead until after sunset to complete the task. I wanted to have one less thing left to do today, and I successfully accomplished that!

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Written by johnwhays

May 23, 2015 at 6:00 am