Project 2010/2011

This was one of those projects that took forever.

We'd always had an above ground pool at our home, and it was a lot of fun for many years. However, once the kids grew up it was little more than a lot of work for me with little benefit.


 It was a massive effort to get rid of the darn thing. I had to remove the deck, dismantle the pool, and get rid of it. I gave it away on Craigslist, and after several false starts someone finally came and took it away. I doubt he'll ever be able to put it back together again, but there was a lot of steel in it for scrap.

My plan was to build a new deck where the pool was, and surround it with a garden, trelis, and screen. It turned out to be a much bigger job than planned. For starters, the perimeter of the old deck was 80 feet. That's a big trelis!


Work started with the large posts. They were over 200 pounds each and it was a major task getting them square in place. Next came the trelis on the top, and then the smaller
posts inbetween.  Once that was done, I started in on the screens inbetween.


Each screen was a project by itself, and I had to use a secret technique (since they were also very heavy) to get them to fit perfectly and sit in place. The project wore into winter, and I had to take a snow break.

Once the trelis was finished, I stained it and put soil underneath. I also built some flower boxes around the old deck.


 From this picture you can see a little of the complex trelis.

Next, on to the deck work.

Notice I'm wearing the same clothes as in the fall!  

I've made many decks over the years, and I've learned how to make them square and level easily. In this project I abandoned all of that knowledge. Because I was i) using scrap wood from the old deck ii) running out of  similar and large pieces, and iii) wanted the deck as low to the ground as possible, I ended up making the substructure in a very ad hoc fashion. In many ways it is a mess, and if someone ever tears it down in the future they'll wonder what the heck I was thinking. But, you'll be able to park a tank on it!

From the picture you can see some of the boards have old paint on them, several are different dimensions, etc. What is hard to see is that the deck has got two levels, with a difference of only 3 inches.
My wife (who had the idea of two levels) tells me this is just enough for people to trip on.

Finished at last.  The lights are in (and hidden), the flowers are planted, and of course the wife had to get new furniture to match.



It turned out the summer was so wet I bought an awning for the deck. It also provided some nice shade.


The last picture shows my two big mistakes ... can you spot them?