I was looking back on previous posts on this site, and came across the horrendous photos I’d shared a few years ago of my rotting deck. Well, the photos weren’t really horrendous, I guess; the deck was.
I had written about how I could drive a pitchfork through the deck boards, how I wanted to coax another season out of the rotting boards by removing the most dangerous ones, and repainting the remainder with the decade-old sealer that I had stored from the last time I had done any work on the deck. And then the sealer had mostly washed away in an unexpected rain squall that came through just minutes after completing the paint job.
Well, I’m happy to report that this past summer, I actually replaced the deck!
Ripping up the old deck was every bit as fulfilling as I had expected. Demolition is fun when it’s intentional! The deck boards had been nailed to humongous creosote-soaked beams 12 feet long and with a diameter of 36 inches. Seven of them. Six and a half, actually, since I had already removed half of one beam that had rotted clear through.
The hardest part was moving those beams out of the way, which I managed a few tedious inches at a time with a shovel and some boards to slide them on. Then I set about constructing my new deck.
The new deck is half the size of the old one. I built it using a plan I found online. It’s nothing fancy, just a 12’ x 12’ square. This spring or summer I will seal it (with new sealer, not something that’s been sitting around for years – gotta protect my investment).
I can’t wait to spend time on my new deck once the weather moderates. And I can’t describe how immensely satisfying it is to look out my window and see my own handiwork rather than the dilapidated structure it replaces. Simple pleasures, I guess.
I’m still working out what to do with the old beams. I might use them to replace other creosote-laden railroad ties that were used around the property as retaining walls. My next big project, perhaps. A few inches at a time.