Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Phase II - Layout and Caddyshack

Well...today starts my 5 day vacation...so what better to do than work in the yard, play golf, AND (drum roll) update my blog!

So Phase II was the most god awful part of the deck. It turned into a 7-week nightmare that drew blood, sweat, and well maybe not tears, but definitely the verge of a mental breakdown. And I'm not talking just being a weekend warrior on this stuff. I mean...7 straight weeks of get up, go to my first job, come home and start my second one 5 to 9 or 10pm. So let's get started.

Phase II should have actually been about planning. This is the most important, because how many holes would you know how to dig? or where? But ya'll don't want to see my terrible kindergarten chicken scratch.

So the first thing I did was layout where the posts would be on the box-seal on the side of the house. Then I dropped a plumb bob from the mark to decide where my batter-boards needed to be built.
 So these are the batter-boards I built (Don't make fun of them!). The purpose of them is to have something to pull a level string-line from the batter boards on the back of the house to the batter boards that extend out past the end of the deck.
 It's very important to make sure the string lines are level. It's really important to make sure this is as accurate as possible. Since my deck plans extend 25+ feet past the house I bought clear plastic tube and made a water level.
 It's also extremely important to make sure the string-lines are square (perpendicular) to the house itself. Here I used the 3-4-5 rule...well, I actually used a larger version to make sure it was accurate because of the distance the lines run.
 So if I have any advice to offer. Don't waste your money on an auger. At least if you live in NWA. The soil is so rocky that the bit will just walk and bounce. Go invest your money in a 30lb rock bar and be prepared to work on those lats!

The below picture always reminds me of Caddyshack. I'll find that damn gopher eventually!
 Above is the hell that I went through trying to dig 2'x2'x30" deep footings for the deck posts. Probably unnecessary but I don't plan for it to go anywhere. Ever.
 I used 3/8" rebar to re-enforce the concrete footings
 This is me somewhat still happy because I was only about 6 - 80lb bags of Quikrete in. Little did I know I'd be mixing 300+ bags.

At the time I never thought it was going to end. But looking back now it was time well spent!

Next we'll move on to the guts of the projects. Framing & Joists

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