Sunday, August 1

happy birthday - and a deck re-vamp

Happy Birthday to my HOT husband.  {No, seriously - it gets above 72 and he's sweating.  So, basically all summer in Illinois!}

He's been busy this past week working on re-vamping our deck.  It's been just a pretty useless skinny weird deck.  We kept the hammock on it, but I never felt like I could sit on the hammock while the kids played because there are bushes around the edge of the deck, and it's up kind of high.
We also had a birthday/get-the-friends-and-family-together party planned for Saturday night, so we decided it was time to make some changes.  We started by expanding the top railing from being a 5/4x6 decking board into a double wide 2x6 "bar".  We (and I really do mean we - I helped!) shimmed, screwed, leveled and maneuvered those boards into submission.  It's a beautiful serving counter for a party, and when we get some stools (eventually) it will be a perfect place to sit and eat.
Then we cut down one of the bushes and cut out part of the railing and added a second set of stairs.
Just so you get a little better understanding - our house is a split level, and the deck is off an "extra" room that was added to the back of the split level before we bought it.  The doors from the back room are on the left side, and there are steps to a concrete patio.  However, now you can turn left when you exit the house, go around the corner and down the brand new stairs!
{Once again, I do mean we.  I trimmed the bush, he got out the chainsaw.  That's when the first picture was taken.  Then I measured the stringers, he screwed and bolted parts of it.  We even got Conner in on the fun of using the air ratchet a couple times, and he used a mallet to get some of the bolts in.  So, it really was a family effort.  Shawn did most of the heavy duty stuff though and worked some late nights covered in bug spray.  He was working his tail off for his birthday!}
We made sure to include a lower railing for the kids, and we hung some rope light all the way around the deck under the bar and down the stairs.
On party day I hung the bunting & the star.  The star will stay outside, the bunting's getting saved for our next picnic.  I used denim & novelty fabrics, my wavy rotary cutter, and yellow ribbon.  Quick and easy!  {some of the novelty fabrics - watermelon, cherries, fried chicken, fruit punch, and strawberries - all stuff from my stash}
We had a great party - 40+ people grilled out, ate each other's potluck dishes, made Smores, and had fun pushing each other's kids on the swings.  We can't wait to do it again next year!!!


Jackie said...

Conner told me he helped some with the new stairs, but mostly supervised!

MaryAnne said...

I am very impressed by your deck improvements - very nice hedge trimming, too!

And, Happy Birthday to your hubby =)