deck progress: week two

So let’s rewind to last Thursday – Kyle and I came home early to unload the decking that arrived on a truck from Eastern Washington (more on that later). With warm(ish) temperatures and hours of daylight left we decided to put on our grubby clothes and get to it. With the footings complete, the next step was to prep the area that would soon be covered by the deck.

First we leveled out the soil that was still in clumps and piles from the previous weekend of hole-digging. (It sucked.) Then we laid down filter fabric to keep weeds at bay. We’re actually not big fans of filter fabric and don’t plan on using it in other parts of the yard, but since this area will be more or less inaccessible, we thought it was worth the expense and effort. To keep the fabric in place, we covered it with a thin layer of pea gravel.

It rained on Saturday morning which delayed framing, but fortunately concrete doesn’t give a crap if it’s raining.

So – stair footing! (The above photo just shows the rebar and formwork, apparently I failed to photograph the actual concrete pour.)

We tried to minimize the amount of new concrete pours as much as possible, but the small stair leading to the basement needed a proper support (as seen in the sketch below).

By Sunday, the pressure-treated lumber had dried out enough so that Kyle could resume framing. First he covered the top of the beams with Grace Vycor sticky flashing, which adds extra protection against wood rot and will extend the life of the deck.

Next, he installed the joist hangers, which are deep enough to support both the main deck joists as well as the framing for the step along the east side. In order to avoid yet another large and annoying footing, we decided to cantilever that framing out, backspanning the members and bracing them against the joists above.

The joists hang off the outboard beam and ledger (at the wall of the house) and sit on the beam at the mid-span.

Kyle used his palm nailer to install the joists, which sped things up considerably.

Most of the PT (pressure-treated) members had to be cut, which meant we needed to treat the exposed edges with a wolmanizing agent (it’s basically a solution that gets brushed on to any freshly cut ends). We didn’t want Bailey to get too curious, so we kept him inside where he maintained a close eye on the progress.

And yes, he always lays like this.

On Monday night our friend Anton came over to help. He was probably expecting to do something manly like pour concrete or operate power tools, but instead Kyle gave him a roll of sticky flashing. But by the end of the evening, he was indeed a Master Taper.

After the joists were installed, blocking was added in the perpendicular direction to further brace the structure.

A rim joist was added to the front of the east step and all of a sudden it started to look a lot more like a deck. As an added bonus, we’re right at the solstice so it doesn’t get dark till about 10:00 p.m. More light = more work!

Kyle powered through and worked on Tuesday night as well, finishing the framing for the steps that lead up to the back door. Woohoo!

We still need to finish the framing for the north steps (on the right side of the photo above), as well as the stair to the basement, but then it will be decking time!

All in all, I think it’s going to be real swell.



46 Responses to “deck progress: week two”

  1. hjc says:

    You guys will be out there grilling before you know it!

  2. WOW, you guys! It’s looking like a deck indeed! So exciting!

    (Bailey, you kill me!)

  3. Lena says:

    Wow, looks like a lot of hardwork, but it will be so worth it in the end!

  4. Cait says:

    Super exciting! I think it’s going to look swell, too 🙂

  5. ModFruGal says:

    It’s going to be fantabulous when done…you’re almost at the fun part! I did not know about Grace Vycor sticky flashing, I’m sure our treehouse decking would have benefitted from project!

  6. HOUSEography says:

    It’s going to be incredible!! I can’t remember if you answered before, but why did you do steps down from your door instead of just making the deck essentially level with the door? I think it the steps add great architectural interest but I can imagine lots of awesome parties out here so it might be a tripping hazard after a couple of cocktails 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      The couple of steps down to the main platform is actually a building code issue. If the deck was all the same level as the main floor of the house, we’d have to have a guardrail around the whole thing. =( This solution means no pesky guardrails or handrails – yay! At least now, if anyone gets too tipsy then it’s a relatively short fall. =)

    • Kyle Z says:

      to explain more, if you have more than two risers under seattle residential code you’re required to have a handrail. If you have a deck taller than 30 inches above grade you need a guardrail. So out the back door there is one step then a landing and then 2 risers (no handrail) then the permiter of the deck also has 2 risers it is only about 18-24 inches above grade (no guardrail) so by adding a step to any of those locations we would have had to have a guardrail or handrail somewhere;) seems complicated I know.

      • Same code rules here in Florida. We actually made our laundry room addition 6″ lower than the rest of the house, then a 3’x3′ step/landing, also 6″ down, in the far corner of the room, leading to two-riser stairs in the garage and out the back door, all to avoid handrails. Lots of effort to meet the magical “2” rule, but I’m glad we did!

  7. Liz says:

    I love the cantilevered step! It will look so modern and awesome with that step just floating…

  8. Monica says:

    Swell indeed! Can’t wait to see the decking.

  9. Matt Goff says:

    You guys somehow manage to inspire me while, at the same time, shaming me at my own progress. I have no idea how you have time to plan it all out, learn the code, shop for materials, and build the thing in the same amount of time that I’m still collecting my inspiration clippings!

  10. Dana says:

    The progress is nice and all but I really find myself checking in to see more pics of Bailey! He’s gonna need his own blog after you guys “finish” the house… 😀

  11. Valerie says:

    I know this sounds kinda odd, but I want you to take it as a compliment: I hope by the time my husband & I are ready to buy a house (MANY years down the road) you guys are ready to sell this place, so we can buy it 🙂 Thanks for sharing your beautiful home & all the hard work that has gone into making it so!

  12. Kelly C. says:

    Wow, y’all are seriously amazing. I had the BIGGEST laugh at the dog picture. So adorable! I have a Boston Terrier laying next to me snoring loud enough to bring the roof down. Thanks for sharing your progress, I’m beyond impressed! I adore my husband, but I’m slightly wishing I had married an architect 🙂

    • chezerbey says:

      Haha! Kyle actually wooed me (in architecture school) with his marker collection. Little did I know he’d also have some mad remodeling skillz. =)

  13. Scotty Boy! says:

    Just came across your website via Apartment Therapy – very impressive work that the two of you have managed to complete thus far and the decking frame looks quite amazing.

    I’ve actually emailed through a link to this page, as a mate of mine is soon going to be installing decking himself in his watery back garden in Aberdeen, Scotland (dull, grey, cloudy and raining about 90% of the time – includes summer! lol) and this would be ideal as a reference model for him.

    • chezerbey says:

      Thanks! Ahh yes, I imagine Scotland is very similar to Seattle (haven’t been, but it’s high on our travel list). Good luck to your friend and hopefully he gets some sunshine to enjoy it!

      • KimB says:

        HAHA, that’s it…. eureka!!….I kept thinking Kyle looked familiar but I couldn’t place him. He looks exactly like a guy I worked with in London, England, and he was from Wick, Scotland. Thanks for clearing that up, it was really bugging me.

        • chezerbey says:

          Ha! Well, Kyle does have some Scottish roots (and I think “Kyle” is actually a Scottish word for a type of waterway), so maybe it’s a long-lost cousin?

      • Scotty Boy! says:

        Aberdeen is on the East Coast of Scotland, so it really gets a mixed bag of weather coming in from the North Sea – it’s always a laugh as your guaranteed four seasons in one day, with an emphasis on RAIN (it’s worse for the guys offshore on the rigs)! lol Thankfully I live down in London now, which has far better weather IMHO when compared to back home.

        I’m sure Mike will be having fun wearing his water proof clothes to get the decking done! lol

    • LauraC says:

      Ahhh! Aberdeen, Scotland!!! I lived on a farm just a few miles north of Aberdeen. My father moved us there for three years (in the 80s) while he was working on his PhD at Kings College at the University of Aberdeen. Great childhood memories; less than a mile from the North Sea. In 2006 I took my husband back there and we visited with a childhood friend, saw the farm again (right before her dad sold it), popped in at the school I attended, and other favorite spots. So special. Sorry for the interruption, I know this comment has nothing to do with decking, but it’s not everyday you see Aberdeen referenced in a blog! Oh, and Kyle and Lauren, if you wanted a few suggestions of some off-the-beaten path places to visit, I’d be happy to give you a few.

      • chezerbey says:

        Sweet, thanks Laura! We’ve had a UK trip on the back burner for a few years now, not sure when it will happen (hmm…maybe we should stop remodeling?). We’ve never been to that part of Europe but have Scottish and Irish roots so we’d love to go visit the “homeland”. =) My sister did a study abroad in Aberdeen and really liked it.

      • Scotty Boy! says:

        I take it you didn’t go past Ma Cameron’s Pub (School Hill, Aberdeen City Centre) for their well known Chieftain Haggis Pudding when you were visiting Aberdeen? 😉

        Chezerbey – If you do head over to the UK you might want to consider doing Edinburgh as part of your holidays; great place to visit but watch out for August & September as that’s when the Fringe Festival is on the go and it pushes the prices for accommodation up quite a lot but also availability becomes quite limited.

        Edinburgh Festival Fringe

  14. Dave says:

    Excellent work. Super jealous.

  15. KimB says:

    does bailey have some cocker spaniel in him, they are known to sit that way. I have a shih tzu/bichon he sits that way and when his hair is long he looks like a sheep rug on the floor. I have literially tripped over him. lol

    • chezerbey says:

      He’s 100% golden, but we’ve noticed a few other bigger dogs that lay like that. The vet said it was perfectly fine, so maybe some dogs are just more…limber than others? And yeah, he totally looks like a bear skin rug from above!

  16. KimB says:

    Oh and the deck looks great so far. Love the cantilever step!

  17. Paul says:

    Agreed, cantilevers are awesome anytime, anywhere. Nice detail!

  18. Jo in New Zealand says:

    Deliciously intriguing to follow the process! Am neither mathematician nor architect, but deliciously intrigued nonetheless!

  19. Maisie says:

    your deck is going to be supernice.
    And Bailey…aww. Overload of Golden cuteness 🙂

  20. lidia norris says:

    Wow, looks great. I’m wondering if you had to get a permit and inspections. Im not sure having 2 joists in one hanger would fly in my city. Also, how did you attach the stair boxes to each other? Did you have to attach them to the house?


Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] the framing complete, we were finally able to start the deck boards last week. And you know what? It is taking forever. […]

  2. […] second half of June was all about deck building! The plan was to finish it before summer started (which is often considered to be July 5th around […]

Leave A Comment