Home improvement projects are kind of like dominoes. One project seems to spur another one, and another, and another. We want to remodel the kitchen in a year or so, which meant that first we had to move the back door from the kitchen to the dining area to make room for more cabinets and to improve the flow and function of the space. But before we could do that, we needed to replace and expand the deck so that the new door didn’t open into thin air (the deck was rotting and needed to be replaced anyway). But before we could replace the deck, we were required to move the power line that was cutting across the deck a mere 2 feet above our heads. Sigh.
The electrical issues were taken care of soon after we moved in. The meter was moved to the other side of the house, then connected to the old electrical panel with a huge power cable that was threaded through holes in the floor joists in the basement. At least now we didn’t have to worry about anyone getting electrocuted just by swinging a light saber around on the deck (a very common activity around here).
The deck was a much more interesting project. After going through three different sets of plans with our contractor, we finally had the design that worked. We wanted to extend the deck to the end of the house, with stairs that turned with a landing at the fence.
Demo day was exciting, noisy and quick! The contractor took down the old deck in no time, leaving us with this.
But within a week, it looked like this.
It turned out exactly as we wanted it, and now we just need to decide on a stain and seal it. You can see that the wood is already graying on the surface, and it’s only six months old. We want it to be the color it is when it’s wet, although apparently “wet” isn’t a stain color, so it will take some experimentation to get it right.
After the deck was built, the contractor took out the door in the kitchen and turned the dining room window into a sliding glass door. We wanted french doors, but there’s not enough clearance in the dining room to open them without hitting the table. Bummer. The old door space was framed out and drywall was installed. We decided not to have the drywall finished until the kitchen remodel, since it would just be demoed again during renovation anyway. For now, I installed shelves over it that house the microwave and a makeshift bar, and our garbage and recycling cans underneath. It isn’t pretty, but it frees up valuable counter and cabinet space.
The deck was done and the new door put in by Thanksgiving, but the siding wasn’t installed until March! We had to special order siding that matched what was there previously, and it took forever to come in. The new siding looks ridiculously shiny next to the old, but it will fade over time, and was much cheaper than residing the whole back of the house. I’m just glad we’re not looking at black tar paper outside anymore!
We’re so glad this project is done and we can enjoy being outside this summer. We never went on our deck last year for fear of falling through! Now we’re hunting for a nice outdoor sofa set to put in the far corner of the space, although I’m debating building my own. Outdoor furniture is so expensive! I have quite few projects in the queue already, so I’d better get cracking!
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