Tag Archives: exterior

Deck update

Apparently I can’t come up with even bad puns at 1am for clever post titles. Deck progressed is rapid, awesome, and loud. We leave everyday when the sawing and pounding start so the girls can get to sleep for their naps.

So far we love the dry lock aluminum decking. It looks great and feels incredibly solid.

Here’s what things look like, from ground level, as of this evening.


And my girls, because they’re adorable.




So long, farewell

Auf wiedersehen goodnight! To you and you and you and you and yooouuuuu! Or, just to craptastic deck number one!

Patsy Lou sat on our bed watching out the window for hours. It really was quite fascinating. The small crew made quick work of ripping down the deck, though it was quite the loud ordeal. With young kids that need their naps, we packed up and are spending our days out of the house while the construction goes on.

By the end of the day, they had not only destroyed the old one, footings were poured and some of the framing was up for the new one. We are using cedar for most of the framing. The reasons for this are numerous, so here’s a quick list: bugs (carpenter ants, termites), sun (west facing), pretty (raised deck, so framing is quite visible), stable/durable. The deck surface will be aluminum. I’m nothing if not a good shopper, and I found an interesting product.

Dry Lock is aluminum decking (duh), that locks together to form a water tight seam. Hence the name. I like self explanatory. So yeah, it’s cool. Can’t wait to see real pieces, 16′ long instead of just the small samples I ordered (for free) months ago.

     Tangent! (I know, you’re shocked) I need to open a store with all of the samples we have from various companies for various building/remodeling stuff. Since we tend to go for new/unusual/eco hippy stuff, and are indecisive, we often have to order samples direct from manufacturers as opposed to just seeing something at Orange or Blue. So yeah, we have a lot of samples. Instead if a store, maybe I could do some really cool pinteresty art project.

Back to the deck: this deck is going to be a screened in porch. So having gaps between deck boards = mosquitos still eating me. More importantly since the whole project is to make our house easy to navigate via wheelchair/scooter, dry lock avoids gaps/cracks/shifting that could trip up wheels. Dry Lock also has a grit to the texture so it shouldn’t get slippery even when wet. Not that we ever spill drinks. Ahem. It’s coating also should keep it coolish in the summer. Then there’s the zero maintenance. Yay for something in this house we won’t have to always fix our paint! Aaaaand it’s basically perfect for this application.

I haven’t even gotten to the craigslist doors, siding, roofing, or actual lift! Another day. The CMA’s are on and awesome. George Strait and Alan Jackson are singing in stage together right now! So onto pictures.

Oh, and this took so long I have photos of days 1 and 2.


Day 1


Progress end of day 2



Dry Lock samples. We are getting the dark brown color because Patricia told us we had to get the chocolate one. Definitely my kid.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a…

…screened in porch with stairs and a wheelchair lift!


Or a ton of lumber peeking over a broken, ugly gate. Whatever. Same thing. Sort of. Almost.

Life should be fun for the next few weeks! A major project, contractors, a pre schooler, a baby, and a toddler that decided last week to potty train herself. But only sometimes. And definitely not if it involves the messier end of things. The words “I pooped! In playroom!” will forever strike fear info me, though not as much as being followed by “I helped clean up half of it” from the big sister. Oh kids. I love you.

Speaking of, here are my princesses yesterday on Halloween. We had Cinderella, baby Cinderella, and monkeypunzel (Lily argued with me when I told her she was rapunzel. Why did I disagree with a 2 year old again?)


When one window closes…

Another door opens. Or something like that. Very long (5 months worth) story short: We’re replacing the worn out, craptastic, code? what code?, ugly deck off the laundry room. We’re also extending it to the dining room, adding a wheel chair lift to it, screening part of it in, and replacing the dining room windows with new (to us) french doors.

We have a sweet family friend who can’t get into our house due to mobility issues. Century old houses and accessibility? Not so much. I’m really excited, and I must admit, quite happy to have a project a contractor will tackle for once. DIY is fun and all, and we all know I’m queen cheapskate, but with 3 small kids and so much complexity involved with this project, it’s just way out of our skill set. And time set. I just brushed my teeth and am still in pajamas. It’s 1pm. Definitely short on time.

Best part of it all is that the elevator comes with a keychain remote. That should provide for some excitement!

I’ll update as they get started, hopefully next week!, about more details. I’m really excited to discuss the material we chose, the design, our deal on French doors (no project is complete without a bargain somewhere), the actual lift, the process, all of it! And with pictures. Cell phone crappy ones as always, but pictures none the less!

(I like calling it a lift instead of an elevator because it makes me feel fancy pants. And Patsy Lou announced I’m the queen this morning, so I think that now makes me British. I’m going to get the kids to start calling me “mum.”)

Square one

We have an antenna for tv signal, as previously mentioned. We bought a fancy neato new one to get out of the rabbit ear stage, & into something high techier looking. Mounted inside, we only got a couple of channels. Laing in a planter outside, we picked up a couple more! The hopes were high for a million channels once we mounted the thing as high as our little ladder could take us! Our at least nbc if not a million stations. AndPBS.  We really wanted pbs. I miss This Old House. Go figure, I got one of my own & now can’t watch Norm’s. Back to the antenna. After 2.5 hours of holding the darn thing every which way all over the place, we wound up getting the best reception right where we started. So we mounted the antenna right above the planter it previously lived in. But wait! It gets better! After 10 minutes, we list signal to everything “new” acf were back to abc, fox, whatever 35 is, a whole bunch of religious folks, &  lots of spanish stations full of ridiculous telenovelas. Wop-wop. We haven’t had the heart to unscrew the bracket & lay it back on the planter yet. We should be fine until the olympics, when we neeeeed nbc. Or until I need a This Old House fix.
This project definitely goes under the “must undo” category. Anybody else have to undue half a days work or end up back at square uno?


Favorite Spot

Our porch is one of my favorite spots in the house. 

My girls love love love being outside, so this is a frequently used perch. Often, I’ll rock Lily while Patsy rides her tricycle, picks flowers, runs like a nut, climbs the stairs, or sits with me while we wait for Joe to get home. It’s also a favorite spot among family for visits. Before we moved in, it was our most regularly used dining room, though then it was a makeshift table with drywall scraps, pizza boxes, and metal folding chairs. It’s also served well as a place to set up the saw horses for door sanding/priming. I wonder what other folks used it for in the 100 years before we had it.

Someday, I want to build a swing like the one my grandpa built that’s on my parent’s front porch. The darker patio furniture will hopefully live on a to-be-redone deck in the back. I might stain/seal the rockers and coffee table (a house warming gift from my parents), or we may just let them weather. One certain addition in the future: anything and everything to stop the darn mosquitoes from using us for dinner. Anybody have luck with certain plants, candles, lasers to help with that problem? All suggestions welcome!



A quick photo from my phone, so pardon the quality. This is our new house!