As usual, we were working furiously on a renovation project in time for an event — this time our deck in prep for my granddaughter’s 13th birthday party. I’m excited to say that it is (mostly) finished. What began as a simple reskin of our lower deck turned into a complete redo and an extension, creating a third level of deck along with a privacy wall. Are we overachievers or what?
I remember Arkady saying once that we should always leave a maker’s mark on our projects. We did that in the form of heritage tiles in our back hallway and on the laundry room sink after those renovations. But not so much after that, perhaps because a lot of our renovations haven’t quite crossed the finish line, which got me thinking.
“Honey, I came up with our maker’s mark,” I said one day.
Arkady was intrigued. “Really? What is it?”
“It’s whatever little thing we’ve left undone,” I said brightly. “Like the three-square-inches of unpainted wall in the office, the section of untiled wall behind the commode, the untiled floor behind the washing machine, and the cement patch in the dining room where the fireplace hearth should be.”
He grumbled, no longer intrigued, but then laughed. (He’s laughing again as he’s reading this over my shoulder.) Because … you have to laugh.
So when we say we’re finished, I reckon we mean we’re finished for the moment. Of course, those moments typically stretch out into years. It’s a sort of procrastination, not to begin but, rather, to end. I could analyze this more: We love working on projects together and don’t want them to ever end (as if we could possibly ever run out of projects), but I suspect we just get exhausted and quit. We’re not overachievers at all. We’re quitters!
Whatever the reasoning, we’ve come up with our maker’s mark, and I’m sticking to it.
We finally decided on a design for the privacy wall. We used all the long redwood boards we had, along with 2 x 2 strips of treated lumber, in a pattern that starts tight at the bottom and gradually opens up, giving the wall a sense of movement. Because we installed it for decorative rather than privacy purposes, we preserved an open area — a sort of transom window, if you will — near the top, where we could hang chimes or, say, a glass owl. (See next photo!)
Arkady replaced the cap rails on our deck, which had been cut at 45-degree angles, with new boards cut in half-lap style with overhangs, Lincoln Log style. Why? 45-degree angle cuts tend to curl. You’ll never use them again once you watch this video from Samurai Carpenter!
So aside from the brace attached to the privacy wall, what else did we leave undone? We have a small section in the corner of the main deck that is roughed in for a built-in butler cabinet. We have a lovely piece of granite for the countertop. We just have to figure out the deets. And in the above photo, we need to trim the cap rail. We left it long thinking we might add a vertical end piece to the seating. Maybe we’ll get to it. Or maybe not.