One of the nice things about the Saroma AET house was the deck that Hiram built about 10 years ago. Unfortunately, all of the decking wood except the posts were untreated wood, and over 10 winters of snowfall, giant plowed snowmounds, and their successive melting, the deck became pretty well rotted to bits. Intending to complete its replacement last summer, I tore the whole thing out. When I realized that most of the wood, while perhaps salvageable for other purposes, wasn’t nice enough to reuse in parts of the deck, I sort of put the project on hold. My budget estimates put the cost of lumber alone anywhere from 25,000 to 80,000 yen, depending on how much of the deck was to be treated wood, and how large I was going to rebuild it.
A winter passed with no deck, and the old boards continued to take up space in my shed. Well, after returning to Saroma from a much needed traipse through Alaska, I finally put my nose to it. I bought lumber from three different sources (very limited supplies) and hauled it all in my Nissan March. I decided to rebuild the deck more or less as Hiram had originally built it – 6’x6′ square, with a simple 2’x8″ base of treated stringers, and 2’x6″ untreated decking boards, with a fair reconstruction of the situationally functional but probably not to code staircase. The fact that none of the stringers or decking boards had to be cut made this deck size seem even nicer.
So, over a week, working for a few hours each day I managed to stain all of the wood and assemble the whole thing, including the staircase, without much more than an iPhone level, a tape measure, and a drill. Ok, so I did borrow a circular saw from a neighbor. My point is that any professional carpenter would strongly disapprove of my methods. Anyway, building the deck itself was a good learning and social experience. One afternoon so many people stopped by to say hi and see what I was doing, that I hardly made any progress.
The old deck before I tore it out last July:
And the new improved deck I finished up last weekend. Photo links to a larger gallery of deck glamour shots.