Homeowners – notice how no project ever goes as smoothly as you intend it to? The previous owner of our house built a deck on the back. Then he put a hot tub on the deck. Then he built a sunroom over the hot tub, which covered about 3/4 of the deck, making it just a wee bit too small to be really useful. Then he didn’t bother to maintain the exterior portion of the deck, nor did he bother to use pressure treated lumber, so it began to rot away. We decided that this year our big project would be to trim the deck back to the size of the sunroom and have a stamped concrete patio poured, which would match the faux stone vinyl siding we had installed on the front of the house last year. I’m sorry, I can hear all the architecture purists out there cringing after reading that, but frankly that was all our budget allowed and it looked a thousand times better than the dark brown T-111 that cladded the entire house previously.
Anyways… so since the weather was decent today, I decided to get out there and finish ripping off the floorboards from the deck. As I got within three boards of the deck, I uncovered an errant post holding up the joist. Now, posts themselves weren’t unexpected, but the placement of this particular post was, as it was about 18″ outside the sunroom. From my previous dismantling, I was expecting that all the posts would be just inside the perimeter of the sunroom, which would conveniently let me trim the deck back to that size and not have to worry that the approximately 4000 lbs of hot tub sitting on it would come crashing down. Hoping that it was the only one out of place, or that it was an extra post, I continued prying up the boards. When I finished, I had discovered that apparently whomever sank the posts for this deck was highly inebriated when they did it and had no concept of a straight line. Of the eight joists, four of the posts were under the sunroom and four were outside. None of them were in a straight line.
So now, I need to somehow sink four new posts under an existing deck. Then I need to shim them flush with the outside edge of the sunroom so I can put a facing board on it, which will give the concrete guys something to pour against. What I was hoping to have done in a week or two will now likely turn out to take two or three times as long. I should have known. That’s pretty much the rule when it comes to any homeowner project. Figure out how long it should take and how much it should cost, then multiply by 3. That’s your true estimate.
No, no, sweetheart, it is just what you should expect from OUR house. The wiring is all screwed up (remember being zapped at least three times in my office when you thought the power was off simply trying to change a wall outlet?), there are nails in kitchen cabinets instead of hooks to hang things on, there are so many drafts coming into windows and doors that I would not be surprized if there is ANY insulation at ALL in the walls and the landscaping is set into the dirt just far enough to have looked nice for a new home buyer, but after a year things started dying because they were only in the dirt about an inch! When I can pull out shrubbery with my bare hands without digging first they were not planted right. And don’t forget the fact that only the front of the house was stained and that was another deciding factor in why we sided it. It only fits perfectly that there is something wrong with the deck. You were just thinking wishfully that this project would be easy and not have any quirks! BUT we’ve figured everything else out here, we’ll get this one done too. :):)