Under the Setting Sun

This weekend we started work on the deck. We're figuring this is a few weekends of work, given the glacial pace at which we work and everything else we have going on. Our goal for this weekend is to get everything up to the beam level built.

We started the day with a trip to the store to get supplies: tube forms, concrete, and the metal fastening hardware to connect the concrete to the wood. We had a Home Depot gift card Noel's parents gave us for Christmas, so we went there first, but we also had to go to Economy Lumber to get some parts that Home Depot doesn't carry.

Our worksite

Then we marked off the site: mowed the grass to a workable level, then used metal stakes to mark off the corners of the deck. After some discussion of options for the foundation and support structure, we dug the first two footing holes.

One of the footing holes

The odd post thing to the side is the leg of the tripod we had the laser level attached to. While the laser level is totally awesome and wonderful, it is really hard to see it outside in full daylight even with the handy little target that came with it. When the sun started going down it was a little easier to see the lines. Maybe we should have marked everything off early in the morning or something.

Rosie in the dirt pile

I made a nice little pile of dirt. Rosie helped keep it from blowing around.

We are using a couple pieces of rebar in the footings. I'm pretty sure it's not required, but we have a lot left over from doing the retaining wall and I always prefer to overbuild. Instead of doing concrete footings and wood posts, we're just making the footings slightly taller and going straight to the beams from there, so the rebar serves a purpose. Just not much of one, given the sizes involved.

Holding the rebar in place

The rebar was held in place while we placed the concrete by a 2x4 scrap with a couple holes drilled in it. It's a nice simple way to keep everything where you want it.

Lowering skies

As it got later in the day, the sky turned grey and it got colder, and I checked the weather report. A 40% chance of rain tomorrow, fun fun fun. We decided to work through and get the second set of footings done tonight, so all we have left tomorrow are the columns.

It's a big chunk of concrete with rebar in it!

At the bottom of one of the holes we ran into a huge chunk of concrete with a piece of rebar sticking out of it. After some work on trying to break it apart or dig it out, we just cast the new footing over it.

Four footing finished

And well after sunset we had our four footings in place.

Tomorrow Daylight Saving Time begins, even more fun. I love the combination of a time change and working outside in the cold and rain.

posted by ayse on 03/10/12