A Deck Miscellany

Noel started the day by sanding the remaining plugs smooth to the deck surface. This took him literally hours, in which time I did some irrigation inventory, more research on deck sealants, and did some yard cleanup.

All the plugs sanded

We're starting to work down the lower stairs now, so it was time to trim the deck boards back so they lined up with the joists underneath.

Setting up to trim the boards at the top of the stairs

The boards are going to be a bit funky here no matter what, because the stairs are not designed as nicely as the upper stairs, to take an exact board width and height; at this location that was just not possible.

Trimming the boards

Noel made the cut in several passes, cutting slightly deeper each time. He wanted to get down to right before the end of the wood, so he would not cut the Vycor membrane. This is important not just so you don't damage the membrane, but also because the membrane will really make a mess of your saw blade.

Trimming board ends

It's a little fussy, but sometimes you need to be fussy to get the results you want. The top edge here is a place we will see a lot, so the extra effort is really worth it.

Final trim

The last cut he made with the MultiMaster, which gave a lot more control than the circular saw.

Trimmed boards, the stringers, and George

The trimmed boards came out pretty nicely. George, little Mr Underfoot, was in complete agreement.

Predrilling holes for fasteners

We hadn't fastened the board ends down in the first round of deck fastening, so that was our next step.

Plugged holes and an anxious dog

I climbed up on the deck to take a picture of the plugged holes, and George and Goldie tried to follow me, leading to some confusion. How could I get up on the deck when there are no stairs? The dogs are very confused about this.

Adding blocking at the base

The last little task we did was putting blocking in at the bottom of the stairs. This blocking keeps the stringers from rotating when a large force is applied to the handrail that is attached to them. The quick calculation I did said we didn't really need it to meet code, but it made sense to do a little better than the bare minimum legally required of us.

Goldie is relieved to have stairs again

Then we set the temporary steps on the stringers and the dogs could come up again. We spent all week training Goldie to use the back door, and she was just relieved that she could do what she was supposed to at last.

posted by ayse on 05/26/12

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