It’s easy to get ideas and be inspired to create something you see in online images but we wanted this deck to be our own design.
We built our home 10 years ago and I kept questioning many things – especially this one: A ledger board that was floating and prematurely installed. Of course, as a woman in the construction industry – a man’s industry – no one seemed to listen when I pointed things out. When it was time to build the deck, I flat-out refused.
“No. There’s a floating ledger board that should have never been installed when it was in-fact installed. I didn’t see bolts holding the board up, only nails. I asked about the flashing and a lintel to hold the brick in place if we needed to remove the ledger board. No one listened. You see, I know construction and my answer is no. A Mason needs to support that brick and someone needs to inspect that ledger. It isn’t bolted-in the way it should have been so I’m questioning the support. My answer is no. We aren’t building the deck until an inspector checks that board and says it is SAFE!.” That was 5 years ago. Fast forward to 10 years and the plan was put into action.
I’m fairly simple and easy to work with.
I don’t need grandeur in the sense of a 16 foot deep deck with split staircases and concrete balustrades. Give me simple and in proportion to everything else I have, over grand-scale any day. Like my clients, I prefer mid-price but will pay more for quality, durability, safety and service. Every time the deck was mentioned, I would design it. When I was finished, I refused to move forward with its construction because that old ledger board nagged at me. I held fast to saying “No” because I knew it was going to be a Pandora’s Box once the deck was started. In order to close that Pandora’s box, I would need to be left alone to do what I knew how to do: quickly handle everything, and have it done right.
I like – and want – things done right, every time.
As a client, I was outnumbered when it came to the deck. I wasn’t going to fight over something I knew we were not going to build for several years. Our ideas over the deck were too different. My husband wanted grand and I wanted simple. We couldn’t come to a compromise and simply decided not to build it. I felt uneasy about the lack of components and convinced myself to ” …let the dust settle and deal with it when we are really ready. Safety first and I don’t feel it’s safe. There’s no way I am willing to take a chance with this issue.” That was my decision. Those were my last words about the deck for years.
There’s a lesson here, I promise….Just remember: When you go cheap, you go cheap.
I simply wanted to enjoy the view we witnessed several times during construction, at this part of the house. It was the perfect place to enjoy our morning coffee and enjoy the afternoon shade since the sun set at the front of the house and the deck was at the back. How long did it take to convince my husband to do something simple? Ten years. We opted for a 6 foot deep deck with a 4 foot wide staircase to ground level below. It wasn’t about the scale of the deck but it’s appearance.
Here’s a tip: when you go smaller on structural projects, you can do more. I learned this from experience.
Here’s my little deck from above…
Here’s my deck from the side of the house where you can see the scale in comparison to that end of the house…
Here’s the deck from the back…
And here’s the view from the rear of the house…
Let’s see how this project turns out and if the concerns I’ve had are valid. However, I already suspect the qualms previously mentioned about building this deck will come to light. I’ve said no so many times that it’s time to say yes to opening the lid on this Pandora’s Box. Wish me luck!
Make sure to subscribe for more on this deck. Look for next week’s post about one of many projects currently taking place.. I can’t promise that they will all be in consecutive order, from start to finish, but I can promise that you’ll get an idea of how this industry really performs: Multiple projects, all at once and that can get confusing if you don’t keep up. Subscribe!
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