Thursday, May 28, 2009

Caution: Work Zone Ahead

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Indiana with Brad's family. His dad, Don, had a "little home project" that he wanted some help on, so Brad and I, along with his youngest brother, Jeremy, and his girlfriend, Madison, left Nashville Friday and headed towards the Hoosier state. We were joined by Don's sister and brother-in-law, Aunt Medina and Uncle Paul, from Wisconsin.

The "little project" consisted of basically cutting their deck in half to make it a square rather than a rectangle in order to utilize the patio concrete that was hidden away under the elevated deck. This would also allow for them to spend their time out back on the ground level, hidden by the fence, instead of being perched up high on their deck, on display for all to see, even over their security fence.

We were the last ones to arrive (past midnight), since we couldn't leave the Great South until after work on Friday, and they had already begun some of the demolition. As a result, I wasn't able to get a true before shot of the original deck. And the guys worked so quickly, that I could hardly catch a picture of something before it was too late!

The pictures below are the best before shots I was able to grab. The two on the left display the stair case that extended from the right side of the deck (along with some of the original lattice work), and the two on the right exhibit the original length of the deck. You'll just have to use your imagination to picture the stairs coming down right were Jeremy's rear end is.

The guys (plus Aunt Medina, who put Madison, Brad's mom, Elaine, and me to shame with her hard work!) were literally outside all day every day, Friday-Monday. They sawed, drilled, measured, demolished, and constructed non-stop. Brad and Don did leave the back yard just long enough to run to Home Depot to purchase some spindles to take the place of the lattice.

It's a good thing, too, because Brad and Don needed some grunt work to keep them busy while the nerds were calculating. You see, both Uncle Paul and Jeremy are engineers (well, Jeremy is an engineering major, but you get the point), and they decided to create a spiral staircase from the deck to the patio so that they wouldn't lose any of their patio space.

The Brain Trust, as we affectionately referred to them, spent hours and hours with pencils behind their ears, calculating the dimensions for this unique design. They were literally outside with triangle rulers (whatever those things are called) and a scientific calculator working out tangents and cosines and talking about hypotenuses and all kinds of other smart people stuff. They had to make sure that the angle of the steps, as well as the depth of the steps would not only make a perfect half circle, but also go the perfect height from deck to patio.

They were able to reuse the boards that had made up deck floor only days before as the steps to the new staircase. I do believe the (nearly) final product came out pretty awesome. Their canopy fits perfectly on their extended patio space, and allows for them to lounge in their table and chairs in the shade (sans umbrella) and still have space for their grill and chiminea to remain on the outside of the covering. Now that they are out of sight of all of the neighbors, I have a feeling they'll be spending quite a bit of time out back.
Of course, they'll finish the railing and the spindles and paint it and do all of that stuff. But the majority of the construction was completed over the holiday weekend. Thank goodness for brains like Uncle Paul's and Jeremy's, and for brawn like Don's and my manly husband's. They made a pretty terrific construction team.

You know I took a billion pictures. Feel free to check them out if you feel so inclined.

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