Gary has had this week off, while Edward is away at Scout camp. We were going to go away but decided it would be irresponsible in case there was a problem and he needed us. So we decided to build a pergola (this post was going to be called "Pergatory") on the new bit of garden. On Monday we went to Home Depot and bought stuff to make said pergola, but when we looked again at where we thought it should go with the bits of wood in place we decided the site wasn't suitable after all and decided to build a deck instead in a completely different part of the yard - a bare bit that is crying out for some kind of attention and where we can sit and admire the view with the enormous metal pole they put up last year (don't get us started on that) obscured by a much prettier tree.
We have never built a deck before. We are great at planning stuff but not good at execution. Two days in and we are still basically planning. We have had books out of the library, looked it up on the Internet, visited Home Depot, and sat in Barnes and Noble with pencil and paper. (BTW our library books set off the sensors at B&N on the way in, so when I was at the checkout, buying Simply Knitting - the one with the knitting bag - I warned the cashier that we would be setting them off again on our way out - I think I have discovered a new way of getting away with shoplifting.)
It all seems way too complicated, just getting everything level and square to start with. When frost heave, building codes, cutting wood accurately, and digging holes in our tree root infested ground is thrown into the mix it just seems completely impossible. In the end we settled for a floating deck foundation design on specially designed concrete piers that positively discourages any digging and is not of any interest to local inspectors, and today we will really start for real.
In the meantime here are the 10 commandments for deck building, or the Deckalogue:
1)Lowes! Thou shalt have no other gods (except maybe Home Depot). The 0% interest and no payments til January plan shall see to that
2)Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain, but words for bodily functions and parts are OK and sometimes very necessary.
3)Thou shalt observe the sabbath, by visiting the temples of Lowes and Home Depot
4)Honour thy father and mother and wonder why DH did not inherit even one of his Dad's handy genes (he could whip up a whole Italian garden with pergola and pond from a couple of railway sleepers and a few bricks he found in a skip).
5)Thou shalt not kill, however frustrating it gets when DH just won't stop with the displacement activities. Screaming and shouting like a banshee and fishmonger's wife combined, followed by vigorous sulking doesn't really do it either.
6)Thou shalt not commit adultery, even when the guy next door has a magnificent deck (that's deck) and is perfectly willing to trade skills.
7) Thou shalt not steal even when thou only needs a wheelbarrow full of gravel and the council have conveniently left a big heap of it just down the road.
8) Thou shalt not proceed without the proper permits and thou shalt work to the current building codes or thy neighbour might tell on thee.
9) Thy shalt not covet thy neighbour's husband, however good a handyman he is.
10) Thou shalt not desire thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or his deck.