This past weekend was deck build weekend 2. We were able to only work Saturday because of the Easter Holiday, but a lot was accomplished. I didn’t think we would be working because it was supposed to rain and with the holiday, I didn’t think I would be able to find volunteers. So, I told Paul, Anthony and Mark that I would be digging the holes thinking that 1 or 2 would show up and speed the digging along. I could always dig it by myself, but it would have take at least 3-5x as long and I would have been exhausted.
Because the weather report said there was going to be rain until about noon, I figured that is when I would be starting. In the morning, Keira and I made some Blueberry Muffins that turned out great. I made plans with a friend that just bought a house to go take a look and have them bounce ideas off of me. If I had more time, wasn’t in the middle of my deck build, and my wife wasn’t pregnant, I would offer to help.
I don’t even have enough time to finish my own projects so I have subcontracted some of my unfinished projects out to Pyramid Roofing who has done great work for us before. They are the same company that has replaced my back door and my roof. I think I am a major Pain in the Butt to work for because of the ways I like things done but they worked with me every step of the way and completed the projects how I wanted or even better. So they are going to finish the following projects for me:
- Finish the siding on the back door since it only has it on the top half and was that way when we bought the house. Looks stupid and out of place when you look at our house.
- Replace our kitchen window so we can finish our kitchen project and build a wine cabinet for the opening.
- Fix the ghetto siding job that I rushed through when we replaced the bathroom window. The bathroom window was a new construction window, but the molding of the old window was larger than new J-Channel on the new window, so I had to put some extra J-Channels on to make it watertight. He will fix it and wrap it to match the new kitchen window since they are next to each other.
- Fix the missing siding under Keira’s Double Window that I haven’t replaced because I need a long ladder to do and since he is doing everything else, would be easier for him to do it.
So after visiting my friend’s new house and giving them a name of a quality handyman, I came home and it was about 11:00. I headed out to the back to remove some of the concrete pad. If I put my support post around the concrete pad, it would have JUST met minimum code requirements (for my 6x12 beam span) and that made me a little nervous, so I removed 18” of the pad. That took about 45 minutes to get through and remove it. My brother Matt showed up at 11:30 to return the truck and actually pitched in to help with the concrete. About 11:45 Mark showed up and we started digging the holes. I had 2 post hole diggers and a shovel so we could all dig at the same time. About 15 minutes later, we were done!! We never really hit any large rocks and mostly just sand even at a 4 foot depth. We didn’t hit any frozen ground either.
That is when Paul and Anthony showed up to “help digging”. Oops, I wasn’t prepared to be done so quickly or have EVERYONE show up. Nobody likes digging post holes!! So, Anthony, Matt and I went to Lowes to pick up the concrete, forms and gravel. Paul went to the rental place to rent the mixer (yes, I am lazy).
That took about 30-45 minutes. We got back, unloaded the trucks and started with the gravel. We laid about 6 inches in the holes. Then we tried our forms, but of course are holes were a little small, so we got out the post hole digger and widened them enough to fit our 12” forms. We then poured the 5000 psi concrete at about 5 bags per post. We finished around 2:30. Not bad for a short days work!!
Anthony had to leave at 2:30, so Paul and I started cleaning up. We had to wait a little while for the concrete to start settling before we could put our ½” x 12” anchor bolt into the form. That is when I did my final measurement for height and noticed that because the posts were about 6” above the ground, it would create a problem for our deck height of 27” considering my beam is a 6x12 and my joists are 2x12…thus leaving enough space for 3” under that. So, we cut down the forms and removed the concrete that was in them so they were level with the ground. This was far easier than waiting for the concrete to dry!! So we put the anchor bolts in, tied a string to them and sited them in line.
There was impending rain so we stopped there, covered up the forms to protect them from the rain. Then we went back to Lowe’s to order the rest of the framing materials. We are going to have it delivered as it is difficult to transfer 16 foot 2x12s with my 6 foot bed. We plan on doing that this weekend as long as the weather cooperates.
Thanks to everyone for their help! It couldn't have been completed as quickly without you.