Sunday, June 27, 2010

Phase 1 of 'Project Deck'

Yep, we're doing it ourselves. A deck is being built and we didn't hire someone to do it for us. Yes, we are doing it in the middle of this HOT HOT HOT summer. Yes, we are crazy. Crazy is good, right?
We looked into expanding our existing patio by getting concrete poured. It was expensive. We were also not real thrilled that it would just be this big expanse of concrete. A deck seemed cheaper and would add in a different element to the yard. We looked up decks on the internet, bought a book at Home Depot about building decks and looked at the internet some more. We found a site that would do your plans for you, based on using a pier system. No digging...sounded easy and more convienent. We printed the plans and the materials list and bought what we needed.
THEN, we thought that maybe we might need a permit. I looked up the info, called the county and found out we DID need a permit. The next day, I got our plans all together and loaded up the kids. We drove to the permit office and filled out all the paperwork. Right before we left, the clerk thought to take the plans to the inspector who was in the office to see if we would need to leave the decking off the frame to be inspected (since we were building a platform deck and there wouldn't be any room to look at all that if we put the decking on there).
Our plans wouldn't pass code. Darn. We were going to have to dig after all! We were going to need to draw up new plans. I tried the rest of the afternoon to understand decking and building this thing to code. This stressed me out. I even lost sleep over it one night...waking up multiple times from deck dreams and then not being able to go back to sleep because I was thinking about it. I told Brian to return everything and we would hire someone or just do the patio. Planning this thing to these certain specifications was too hard. Hormones, anyone? :-)
Since I refused to think about it anymore (remember, I was wanting to hire someone to do this), I calmed down and we were able to redo plans (and take 2 feet off the deck to make this part easier). Got the plans drawn up on the computer and took them to the permit office again (yes, with 2 kids in tow again!).
This time, we were approved! We dug the holes for the footings and called for the inspector to come out and inspect our holes. This was required before we could do anything else. I waited ALL day long. They were supposed to be here "anytime between 8 and 4."
I called the office and was told that our inspection had been disapproved because there were no permits and no footings dug. Obviously, they didn't come to MY house! There is another house in our neighborhood that has the same number as us. Its the same floor plan even AND is on the corner of our street and the other street. So, we've had a few people stop at that house when they were supposed to come to our house. Brian called back and they got ahold of the inspector. He was kind enough to drive all the way back out to our house, despite being almost home (40 miles from our house!). We were approved and could now move forward with our project.
Brian has done a lot of work out there. I help as much as I can, but it's hard with 2 kids. They are usually out there doing something or another and it's usually not something they are supposed to be doing! Here's a shot of the beams against the house and the outside beam waiting to be put up.
Brian taking a small breather and figuring out what to do next. We had just gotten the concrete in one of the holes to set the post.
The 2x8 is just there for a moment. It has since been attached to another 2x8 to be a double beam and has been bolted to the posts.
Taking a break with Colten...who decided that the 2x8 was a balance beam.
So cute!
I'll have more pictures posted as we get further along. We are hoping to have everything done except the decking by the end of the weekend. The inspector has to look at it all before we put the decking on and then I think he has to come back out for the final inspection with everything put together (with the step included). We have plans for some other things in the yard as well...I'll post pictures as we get all that stuff done (or are in the process of putting it in!).

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