Avast! All hands report to the main deck!
In Beemsville, we’ll take our home projects just like our Illinois State Government: large, over budget, inefficient in execution, and behind schedule. As with state government, the deck project was heavily dependent on others. Instead of tax dollars, special interests, and the willingness of various banking institutions to lend money, we depended on the help of friends and neighbors and their willingness to lend tools.
Pushing on with this simile, construction and design of the deck depended primarily on the abilities of a behind-the-scenes expert, but was executed by a man of low-to-middling talent who will nonetheless take all credit for the results. (Wait – I believe I just compared my good friend and carpentry guru, John, to House Speaker Madigan and various gubernatorial chiefs-of-staff. I owe John an apology. Wait! This means I would be Blago or Quinn in this comparison. I owe myself an apology…)
As with our beloved state government, the original design and framework of this deck was sound and solid but become increasingly half-assed towards the end. We can only hope it doesn’t suddenly collapse at some point in the near future.
Just like the legislation and budgeting process in Springfield requires many expensive and confusing trips back and forth to the capital, this deck required many expensive and confusing trips back and forth to Menard’s and Lowe’s. And in the end, though it may seem sturdy or even impressive, it won’t please everyone, and it’s flaws will certainly become apparent over time.
This deck – the product of a recent stay-cation, several evenings of labor ’til dusk, and one weekend, took probably twice as long to complete as projected. Someone with real carpentry skills would have finished much faster. The main reason for the tardiness being that large tree in the background. It’s roots made post location challenging, and the laying of stringers downright laborious. Many hours spent with axe and pick in hand, hacking away the roots to get the structure in place.
And though I decided to tackle this during the hottest stretch of the year and sweated many pints, and though my lower back was killing me at times and my hands sported many blisters, I mostly enjoyed the process. It was satisfying. Good to be outside and see the progress. Yes, there were countless trips to area hardware stores and we came in over budget. No, the deck does not include a platform/bench to cover the unsightly root build-up at the base of the tree (as immediately pointed out by the wife, as I stood there sweating at the grand unveiling…) And if anyone has suggestions on how to build said platform/bench there without hurting the tree, send them along. But this is another project complete as far as I’m concerned. Onward…
Check out the photo progression of the mighty deck project here… Follow the link and click on ‘slide show’ to view.