You might ask why we’re installing a slide from our deck. Because I sometimes have crazy ideas, and my beloved typically goes right along with them, that’s why. I used to think it was because he absolutely adores me (which is true), but I now know that if the idea requires something to be built, it sparks the Boy Who Likes to Build inside him.
Here’s a story: When Arkady was a wee lad, his parents were still in the process of building (mostly themselves) their brick ranch in a far eastern suburb of Cleveland. He watched as his dad, working on two-story scaffolding, finished the brickwork in the back of the house. He helped his mom shovel backfill, and he probably wanted to help his dad install the oak floor that runs throughout most of the house.
One day after a long shift at the hospital, his mom, who was a nurse, came home to her house-in-process, husband who was occupied with a project (instead of keeping an eye on their young son), and said young son wielding a hammer. The absence of blood calmed her, but she saw that every pillow in the house had been strewn across the living room floor. One by one, she tried to pick them up only to find that each and every one had been nailed to the floor. I think that was the same day Arkady learned how to use the nail-pulling side of the hammer and his father got a hefty dose of side-eye.
After we finished with deck renovation part 1, we began thinking about the design for part 2, which concerned our lower deck. Because we have so many kids in the family, I thought having a slide from the deck would be great fun — and I’m willing to be the first person to test it once it’s installed. Hell yes.
As with all projects, we anticipated that part 2 would be easy: The posts and frame were solid; just needed to rip off the warped floor boards (i.e., all of them) and essentially reskin the deck. Except…for some reason the floor was angled toward (instead of away from) the house so we needed to adjust that, and we decided to extend the deck a few more feet (we like to think big!) so we had to install more posts, which required Arkady to dig down three feet, and haul and mix cement — boo hiss to both.
Tip: Although 60-pound bags of cement are more expensive than their 80-pound counterparts, they’re worth buying since you’ll save money later on chiropractor costs. Also, I understand that many professionals on job sites don’t schlep the 80-pound bags around; they slice them in half with a box cutter and haul the halves around, knowing that they’re losing some product (and saving their back) along the way.
The deck extension is one step lower than our now middle deck, which is one step lower than our main deck, and gives a nice sloping flow to the entire construct. And because my beloved likes to get fancy, he laid the floor boards on the extension at a 45-degree angle, in the opposite direction he laid them on the main deck. The floor boards on the middle deck are laid horizontally, which offers a visual connection to both the main and lower decks.
Our last big style decisions involve railings and a high wall on the end of the lower deck. In our vast inventory of stuff are red cedar boards, which may come into play; not sure yet.
Within a few weeks, I should be posting part 3. Stay tuned!