Hi, and welcome to Day 2 of the deck project with my Guest Blogger and real time best friend, Michael Reilly of Sylvan Run Wines!
The following morning I was itching to continue, but two things held me back.... teenagers don't get up at dawn and neighbors frown on saw noises at 5:45 AM. So I whipped out the Cabot's Solid Color Stain and dressed up the old flowerbox.
My plan is for the entire area to eventually take on a beach house feel.... like out in the
Hamptons on Long Island. The stain color for the flower boxes is Cabot's Allagash and the decking will all be done in the slightly lighter Cabot's Arboretum. The rest of the area around the patio/deck already sports pea gravel that gives the impression of coarse sand without being overly messy or tracking into the house.
With all the stringers in place, it was time to start putting down the 5/4 x 6 pressure treated decking. Having help here really pays off, especially when you get a board with a curve or twist. One way to avoid severe warps is to stay away from Home Depot or Lowe's lumber. I will ONLY buy from a true lumber yard because the material simply IS that much better. You may, and seriously..... MAY.... pay a little more, but consider the fact that you want your deck to last as long as possible and still look good 20 years from now, and you'll see that the extra expense is easily warranted.
Each board gets two staggered screws where it overlaps a stringer, and when choosing screws, again... get the ones with the latest coatings. Galvanized is simply obsolete in terms of longevity. The playground adjacent to this project was built 17 years ago... with lumber yard lumber and galvanized screws. Many of the screws have disintegrated by now and the next project after the patio/deck is to rescrew the still relativly perfect lumber with new screws. Back then, galvanized was all there was.... today, porcelain coated or the like is the way to go.
There are different schools of thought on board placement. Some folks prefer to leave a bit of a gap between boards from the start for drainage. I've seen older decks done this way and have found that as shrinkage occurs with age, these gaps can become wide enough to be treacherous for ladies in heels. Since I really enjoy my wife in heels, my boards get butted as tightly as possible. *smirks*
See how nicely the skirt finishes off the edge against the lawn?
We hit an obstacle in the footings for the sunroom. Solution? I got creative and just ran the stringers around it. Once the decking is screwed on it all tied together nicely and nobody can see what's underneath the boards anyway.
Working into the night once again, I was determined to finish my glorious three-board step. The old step was a 2x10... yay... about as exciting as a plain hunk of wood can be. Using three boards not only ties the different levels together with like material design, but also gives the impression that you just glide from one level to the next... Yes, I know I'm anal.... but I don't care, because the outcome speaks for itself. :-)
Well, are you already marking off where you want this in your back yard? Me too! The best thing is, tomorrow, I get a personal consultation on placement of my project and help drawing up the plans over a pitcher of Sam’s mojitos! But don’t worry, Michael will be back one more time with some very helpful tips and advice on how to make this go smoothly, so stay tuned!