The Upstairs Deck

It’s terrifying that the previous owners had a hot tub up here.  The railings, especially on the sides, are held together with a million brads and wishful thinking.  Time to make it less deadly.

IMG_1049This side doesn’t have a top ledge at all. Nope, just a 2×6 hastily nailed into a scrap that’s nailed into the siding.


That looks sturdy, right?  It’s not like you’re nearly 20 feet off the ground.  Oh.  Wait.

The other end is a ridiculous hodge podge of thrown together shittitude.

IMG_1051See?  I don’t even… I can’t… I mean what…


This image was featured in a previous post.  This is the other side of the deck railing.  I’d grant points for the 4×6 were it not for the fact that the thing was fastened to the siding and deck with nothing more than a handful of nails and old deck screws that could barely support the weight of the beam, let alone the railing.

IMG_1056I tore the entire rail apart and rebuilt it, using whatever wood I felt was salvageable and replacing that which wasn’t with new.  The 4×6 is now lag bolted into the house and the lower outermost deck joist.  I had to remove the corner trim from the house (which was pretty chewed up anyway from the previous owner running nails through it to try to hold the beam on) and create custom replacement trim that was flat so the beam would sit flush.  Top and bottom rails and balusters are recycled.  Top ledge and some bits to the right are new wood.  2.5 and 3 inch screws throughout.  Why all screws?

IMG_1052Because originally it was all brads and a few nails.  Look at this!  Removing these balusters is easy – grab and pull.  Cleaning them up for reuse is another matter.  I’ve got a 5 gallon bucket half full of skinny, bendy little brads I pulled.


More is better!  This guy’s addiction to his brad nailer is nuts.

IMG_1059Other side – complete.  Brand new notched 4×6, again lag bolted into the house and the deck joist below.  As with the other side, new top ledge and a few other bits.

IMG_1057Replaced the cruddy original top ledge along the deck length as well.  A 20 foot piece of 2×6 cedar decking isn’t cheap!  Frustratingly, while the top rails on the sides are 2.5 inches tall, the top rail along the length is 3.  My screws are insufficient, so I have to go buy a fistful of 4 inchers tomorrow so I can finish securing the ledge.

IMG_1061Bonus potato pic!  I am not a fan of our gas fireplace, but there’s no room in the budget to replace it right now.  In an attempt to modern it up  I pulled a few of our smaller bits of lava rock out of the back yard, baked it in my gas grill on high for awhile, and arranged it here, replacing the original ugly fake logs.  Not sure that I’m happy with the layout yet, but the effect is way cooler than it was.  Rearranging will have to wait til tomorrow, because these rocks seriously retain heat.


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