Saturday, August 23, 2008

Loving the Floating Deck


Backyard "after" 2
Originally uploaded by gimbler
Sorry - we didn't take any "during" photos. This thing came together so quickly any pictures would have been a blur of action anyhow. Okay... I exaggerate. But, not by much.

We found everything we needed to make this deck - from design, instructions, shopping list and price estimate at deckplans.com. Sure, almost any home improvement store, large or small will help you design your deck in order to better sell you their products. But, will they let you make endless modifications without losing patience? Are they available at 3am when you're suddenly struck with inspiration and longing? I think not!

We built on a slope and over a former above ground pool depression in the lawn without the back breaking and time consuming task of digging holes or pouring cement. Deck Blocks Rock! You can change your mind... move a little to the right, a little to the left... Then just plop your 40 pound hunk of block down and level it out. Easy Peasy!

The instructions on the site are quite easy to follow, but just in case here are a few things we did to make it go smoothly for us. After we laid out the four corner blocks for the 10'x12' main deck we laid the two 2"x6" x 10' frame pieces on the ground, evening up the edges and screwed on all the galvanized joist hangers at once. Then we attached those to the 12' long pieces to make one big rectangular frame that we lifted in place and rested on the corner blocks. After that it was a breeze to set the rest of the blocks.

We cut the 4" x 4" post for the corner blocks first and when we got the frame level we started laying the 2" x6" x12' joists into the joist hangers, but not screwing them in yet. We just set them in place one by one to measure how tall the 4" x 4" needed to be cut in order to seat in the deck block and support the joist. After they were all cut and set in place it was time to toenail the joists to the 4" x 4" posts and screw the joists into the joist hanger and end boards.

It was so fast and easy and the results were so solid and pleasing that before we knew it we were building another multi-level deck down behind that little red tree you see in the background.

Last summer our back yard was a no mans land of mud, weeds and ankle twisting holes. We spent as little time as possible in it. Now we spend as much time as we can out there.

Thank you deckplans.com!

11 comments:

Kristin and Rob said...

Thanks for posting the info about the deck! Our shed tear down (which we still have to finish...ugh) is taking place to make room for a patio/deck. This site sounds helpful!
How funny that we both have 3 cats and, of course, the red Kitchen Aid mixer. Great minds think alike!! ;)
Kristin :)

Jennifer said...

I've been thinking of using those... glad to hear you like them!

We are in said...

Jennifer, like is not even a strong enough word. LOVE them!

One of my friends at work was putting his deck in the traditional way, hit an unmarked drain line, had to pay a plumber several hundred dollars and then re-dig his holes to move every footing over a foot. I would have cried.

Kristin - yeah - great minds! :o) I hope you find the site as informative as we did. There's even a discussion board where "Deckman" dispenses timely and helpful advice.

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