House Projects: Planking!

Yep, that’s right. We finally laid the first section of planking today.

Over the last several days, whenever it wasn’t too damn cold, I went out and did a little something each day. One day I put up the last post on the first level. Another day I cut those damn angles I bitched complained about earlier. Another day I did the bracing on the first slope and replaced another with a pressure treated one.

Normally, Lorna has Mondays off but had to work yesterday. So, she got today off in exchange. We started off in the usual way by getting breakfast at Waffle House followed by a trip to the bank and then Lowes. A few days before, we’d picked up the pressure-treated 2x4s, some solar lighting for the back, and we treated ourselves to an early Christmas present. We got a Porter-Cable 18v cordless set. A circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a drill, and a light. We knew we’d need a second drill for when we laid the planks. The battery circular saw I’ve wanted for a long time and goodness knows all butches want a reciprocating saw. Nothing to do with Freud, though, but with Tim Taylor.

Anyway, today we got two more concrete pier block things and a pack of doohickeys for the drills. Bits, shanks, etc. We finally got home and got to work.

We had to finish all the bracing so I got down off the porch (my legs will be soooo glad when this is done), gave Lorna the measurements and she cut them. I then put them up while she cut the next set. This deck may not be perfectly square and it may look ugly but by george, it ain’t moving. The blocks came in real handy for doing the bracing.

After that, and with only one slight deviation, the first problem was the first plank. Because of the tilt of the porch, the right-hand side (as you look at it from the ground) is higher than the left-hand side. The board did not fit flat against the porch so we had to….well, let’s just say it was complicated. We did, however, have to adjust two boards to compensate for the slight “fan” we were getting but we kept telling ourselves “it’s a dog deck, not a tap dance floor”. When we got to the first set of posts, instead of notching the plank, we just cut it just short enough to fit. Same thing for the end. It went rather fast! We did one board at a time until we figured out what we were doing then measured and cut a bunch and put them down. With one of use using one drill to do pilot holes, the other either held the plank in place or started driving the screws.

All of this stuff before was important and we got a lot done each day even though it never looked like it. But seeing that top section covered felt a helluva lot better!

We got six planks ready for the next part (barely half of what we need total) but it was getting cold and we were tired. Not a good combo when using a circular saw. Other boards are measured and marked although too long for me to cut by myself. Instead I may re-work some of the first slope and get the final section ready. We decided to prop the ends up on two more blocks. They’ll be partially buried in order to make a good slope.

We’re going to have good weather for several more days. Cold but clear. Maybe an hour or less each day and we may get it done yet!