Decked!

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We were making good progress on putting down the floor of the new deck. We had just reached the edge of the house when we knocked off work for the evening. Next morning, I was standing at the door admiring the spread, when I noticed that one of the cracks was wider than the others.

This manufactured plastic lumber has a top surface, which is wider than the bottom surface, and sure enough, one of the boards had been installed upside down. Damn! Even worse, it was ten boards in from the working edge, and there is no direct access to the middle of a field. Do I really want to pull up ten boards just to turn that one over?

I spent the morning convincing myself that it was a done deal, it was what it was, not worth the bother, and moomph, moomph, moomph. But now that I knew it was wrong, I also knew I would see that error every time I went out there, forever. Fortunately, it’s all screwed down, but still, pulling up well over a hundred screws over 160 linear feet of span (10 x 16-foot boards) is a fair bit of work. And pulling it apart is the easy part, because I don’t have to worry about spacing or the tightness of the screws.

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Saturday I started in the early coolth of the morning to put it all back together. While I was at it, I put chicken wire around the near-side edges (photo above), to keep out the raccoons. (The alligator lizard won’t have any trouble.)

The last of the 16-foot boards dangled out into the bushes in the upper right by quite a bit (angled row of scraps is a visual No-Step area), and the first of the 12-foot boards was only just barely long enough to reach.

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I put in two 12-foot boards and ran out of clips. Which was actually just fine, because it gave me an excuse to knock off for the day. It went well, but it’s still a lot of work.

As shown in the top photo, I laid out the remainder of the 12-foot boards to see how they would lie atop the joist frame. The long ends in the lower left of the picture will be trimmed off, as will the diagonal in the upper right.

It’s progress, it really is: even though the last boards are lying loose, this is the first time the entire joist frame enclosure has been dark during daylight hours.

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