Thank goodness I've always been good at the balance beam. I needed those mad skills as we finished the deck.
The next step was nailing the joists into their new homes. We used the level on each and every one, making sure that they sloped away from the house at the same level. Then we measured them to make sure they were the same width apart from each other.
We opted to use a collection of new and old joists. We reused old ones that were still in good shape. They may look a little funky, but they're still sound. In fact, I kind-of like the banding that's happened with the weather. It gives it an interesting look. (You can also see my friend the 2X4 that I used to bridge the gaps as I walked across.)
Once all of the joists were in place, we walked around to the outside of the deck and secured them against the outside support rail. Using a corded drill on a steep slope is a major feat! Once they were all screwed in, it was time to lay the decking. It ended up being like a huge jigsaw puzzle. My Charles had numbered each plank, but many of the numbers had smeared off. There was much twisting and sliding of the deck planks as we tried to fit them into their old spots. As we put them back, we noticed that some of the planks were warped. I'm so glad that we had already decided to replace the whole structure next year! If we hadn't, we may have felt a bit discouraged, but since we had, we recognized it as something that would later be fixed but was currently fine. As we laid the last board in place and fastened them to the joists, the sun began to set. The trees glowed with a swell of golden light.
Then a double rainbow stretched from the corner of the completed deck all the way across the sky, and Yosemitebear wept behind us. It was so intense.
Okay, maybe not that last part, but we have a completed deck, just in time for the first snow of the season this Saturday. We're done with the outside, at least until next Spring.
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