Sunday, August 9, 2009

B & G's Deck Redo

When Barbara and Gavin (son and daughter in law) purchased their home several years ago the deck was incomplete and in very rough shape. This summer B & G asked for our assistance in revitalizing the deck while still keeping the costs low.

B and I discussed deck details while installing new lights on the front of their house in late spring. Ranee (my sister) and I found these new lights at the Battle Creek Restore. I called B and told her about the lights and she said 'buy them' so we did. They needed 4 large lights and 2 small. Here is a photo of B installing one of the small lights by her front door.
B and I were able to install 1 small and 2 large in 10 hours. LOL Let me add that we had to remove old light, remove old light back trim, lay out template for new vinyl trim, use Dremel to cut siding, install trim, and then wire and install light. What a job that was. We also added 2 large lights on each side of their garage door. B won't be quitting her day job and I will not be leaving retirement soon to start a new career as a light installers.

We also purchased enough lights to have large lights on each side of the patio door and a small light by the garage entry door. The patio lights will require adding an additional box since the patio currently only has 1 light.

After days of calculating B & G decided to replace the deck boards with new wood deck boards using the same type of 5/4 boards. They asked friends and colleagues how they built their decks and were surprised to hear a lot of negative comments about Trex so they decided to stick with wood.

First we removed the one small remaining section of railing and all the deck posts (can't find the before photos). Once that was completed B & G removed all the old deck boards. B's brother will use them to build onto their 4 sons tree house...I mean 'fort'.

B & G made one massive trip to Home Depot and purchased all the decking, new rail posts, square spindles, new 2 X 12 rim joists to cover up the 2 X 6 currently in place, opaque stain, dark transparent stain for the deck boards, joist hangers (because the deck was originally built w/o any), and torx drive deck screws.

B started staining the exposed joist ends and exposed support posts with the opaque cream stain. We decided that an opaque stain the same color of the house would make the deck look like an extension of the house and not an add on. The railing and step stringers will also be the same opaque cream color.

R and I spent a couple hours arranging the deck boards so that we could eliminate as many cracks and knots as possible. We also placed all the deck boards so that the crown was on top to help eliminate cupping as the boards age. But before we started, R cut of the joists that extended beyond the rim joist. Only about 2 inches of the joists will be exposed when we add the 2 X 12 rim joist.The plan is to screw down 10 boards a day. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but let me tell you it takes a good 2-3 hours. There are 52 deck boards so we should have our part done before next weekend when B & G take over and stain the deck boards. Once that is complete R and I will install the painted 2 X 12 rim joist.Here is B helping to hold a deck board in place while her father in law screws it in place. Note the one light box on the right side of patio door. We will add another to the left side so that they will have 2 lights for more light coverage on the deck.The plan is to complete the deck by the end of August. Anyone care to wager whether 2 working professionals and 2 retirees will complete this deck by the end of August? Remember we have to factor in races, rain, heat, age, doctor appointments (we are falling apart), dentist appointments, lack of interest, aches, and pains.

Today R and I will venture down the road to install 10 more boards which will get us near the halfway point. B & G on the other hand have gone sky diving. Actually B is diving and G is watching. Don't worry, Twiggy the cat, will watch our every move while they are gone.
Here a gratuitous photo for all you gear heads. This is B & G inside of G's race shop. R is inspecting his new 410 engine for his sprint car, while it is still on the engine hoist (pick).Here is an up close photo of something interesting. This is a 3 stage oil pump (center of photo), to the left is the oil filter, and to the right is the large oil reservoir. Each stage increases the oil pressure. A normal passenger car has oil pressure between 60 and 80 PSI (pounds per square inch). This engine will have.......oops no one is home for me to ask......well lets just say...a lot. I'll get back to you with the real PSI when I can verify my data.

Added at 6 PM Sunday....OK...here's the scoop....not only does it increase oil pressure but it allows the engine to use large volumes of oil, thus keeping all parts lubricated despite centrifugal force caused by racing on a banked oval track at a high rate of speed (don't ask me how fast because Grandma reads this and she would worry). The large reservoir has a spiral baffle system that allows the oil to rid itself of air bubbles due to the increased oil pressure. Air bubbles displace oil thus less lubricating is taking place. Friction is the enemy when it comes to engine wear. Friction causes wear and friction causes heat which cause parts to swell and when they swell they wear and so the vicious circle goes. That's why it is always important to read your temperature gauge on your instrument panel. It's important to know what your nominal (normal) operating temps and oil pressure are for your vehicle, that way you can tell if you have a problem starting. There is absolutely no reason why you cannot get 250k to 300k miles out of your engine. In this day and age your engine is still new at 100k......that's your engine...not accessories. Accessories like power steering, alternator/generator, and belts can all be replaced by the owner. AC compressors and AC systems should be relegated to trained and certified personnel due to the freon in the system.
Happy Birthday Ranee!!!! I won't tell you how old she is...but she is reaaaaallly old. LOL

Goooooo Smoke!!! Good luck at Watkins Glen.