I will admit to one of my (many) personal faults. I am a procrastinator. I have great ambitions, and my great ambitions become motivated ideas, and motivated ideas become intense projects, and intense projects morph into fatigue and burn-out...
My "modus operandi" is to continue plugging through the fatigue and burn out until a project becomes "usable", "livable", and "operational". Then, I "take a break" from the project - usually until the Mother of Five can no longer stand seeing the project unfinished, and "motivates me" to complete the task.
So, it is with great enthusiasm that I can FINALLY say... After 3.916 years - or 47 months - or 204 weeks - or 1,432 days - or 34,344 hours - or 2,060,640 minutes - or 123,638,400 seconds - I am going call one of my "back burner" project "complete"... (Well, at least the "construction" component is complete).
From May 08, 2006 - July 03, 2006 I worked almost non stop on the deck. I kicked off the project with a (nearly) two week vacation. Most every waking moment (that was not spent at work) was spent on that deck. Since I was not at work, I kept my co-worker and good friend Billup to date with my progress through my regular posts (detailing what I had accomplished). Then, once back to work - shared my progress in person.
Truthfully, the deck project was also the "kick off" to this blog! Most entries made that summer were about the deck, so it feels sort of "surreal" to complete this project. Almost like the blog existed to update people about my deck progress (No worries though... I have no plans on shutting down FOF!)
Like I said in my admission... When I last worked on the deck, it was in a "more than usable" condition. The actual deck surface was complete, the railings and spindles were up, and a gate was in place. Where the deck was "lacking" was the stairs. The stair stringers were in place, and all the treads and risers (steps) were in place sans one actual tread (I had run out of that board). I had placed some scrap "two by" lumber in place so the steps were usable. One side of the stairs were protected by the deck. The other side I had put up a makeshift hand-rail (that was not complete), but would provide a minimum level of protection and something to grab in the event of a "slip". (Thankfully, that never needed to be tested)
Once the deck was in a usable condition, (and being "burned out" on the project) the incomplete stair case sat for the rest of the summer. Summer became fall and, as fall became winter, the remaining lumber was neatly sorted along the side of the house.
Over the next three years, I struggled with this incomplete deck. The kids (and the neighbor kids) would rummage through the wood pile and grab "swords" and "rifles" out of the pile (it's amazing what little boys will use to replicate weapons when their parents (that's us) won't buy them toy guns...). Every time I mowed, I would have to police the yard for my deck lumber.
I also struggled with the design. I knew what I wanted, I knew what the building code required, and I knew what I did not want. The inspector has been by at least once each calendar year - reminding me that I need to finish the project and get my building permit signed off on, and completed - which would motivate me a bit, but not enough to actually resume the project.
And, finally (let's be honest here) - I struggled with my own laziness and procrastination. After all, it was "usable"... Right?
- - - - -
Since I have another significant project I want to undertake in the not too distant future, I want and need to clear my slate of a few "incomplete" projects - the deck being one of the bigger and more embarrassing of the bunch.
With my regular days off, and a couple of extra added (as a mini-vacation) - I had started gearing up to get SOMETHING productive done... The deck was #1 on my list.
Saturday was spent cleaning the house for Easter. Sunday was Easter. Monday was errand Dance class / Scout day. Tuesday was... well, I don't recall, but it was not "deck" day. But Tuesday night I realized that my mini-vacation was over the half way mark, and I had not accomplished anything productive.
Wednesday morning I was outside bright and early. I took inventory of what lumber I had left, assessed the condition of the staircase and what still needed to be done, I made a shopping list, picked up lumber, parts, and tools that I still needed.
I also stumbled upon my next big project - not anything I was expecting to do...
Stay tuned for more on that.
Two FULL days later (that included some de-construction of the existing railings) the stair tread, riser, railing top cap, handrail, and all spindles are in place and secured.
I can officially state that the "construction portion" of the deck is COMPLETE!
Last year, I did stain and waterproof main portion of the deck. (That’s why the staircase is not all stained) - I am going to need to re-coat the main flooring and put a first coat on the staircase (that includes all the new work). Once the deck is stained, Mr. Building-Inspector-Man comes a knocking, (and after I wake him up from passing out after seeing the deck finally complete) - will be able to say that the deck is 100% complete...
It sure does feel good to say that!