Every year, we talk about building a new deck. Every year we decide it’s too expensive or not a priority and we put it off. This year we decided to heck with it and got it done, bigger and better than we ever imagined, because of a lot of good luck.
The good fortune came from a combination of factors. One was our nephew Jordan having several weeks off his job as an electrician working on wind turbines. Also, his best friend Axel wanted to branch out into building on his own after working with his Dad’s construction company. After we hired them, Axel’s Dad decided this job was more fun than the one he was working on in Port Stanley, so he left that site and came to supervise and assist his son. We got materials through the Dad’s contractor account and when the guys set their rate for labour, it was well below market value. Derek said he wanted something cool in the design, and together they came up with a gazebo. We ended up with a deck beyond our dreams.
The before and after photos really tell the story.
The original deck was more like a balcony compared to the new one. We estimate that it was about 30 years old, had been stained repeatedly and then, finally, a few seasons ago I painted it with grey floor paint I had on hand just to make the splitting boards look a little less horrible. Before the wood came down, we hired a guy with a bobcat and jackhammer to remove the concrete slabs and sidewalk to the driveway. That’s why there’s gravel all around.
The new structure is made from pressure-treated wood that many people mistake for cedar. It won’t turn grey like others do, so I’m told. The build went smoothly with just only one potential hitch. On the final day I came home and they had put grey shingles on the gazebo roof next to our brown house and its brown roof! So I had them redo it and they installed brown shingles on top. That thing will never leak. Because Jordan’s an electrician, he electrified the gazebo and installed a low-watt chandelier that’s LED and replaceable. I love the contrast between the modern light and the rustic boards.
The photos I posted on social media got the guys at least two, possibly more jobs. It puts some jingle in their pockets and keeps them busy. I’m grateful to them. And it’s been fun installing solar lights and shopping for dodads and whatnots. Patio stones need to go at the base of the staircases and the next task is to extend the asphalt driveway to the garage, which I can now watch from under the cover of my new gazebo.