Deck Project Day One

 Posted by at 12:35 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 282023

I mentioned last week that Terry and I wanted to build a deck on the back of our house. There is already a freestanding deck at the back of the garage, but we have to go outside and from the house to the garage to get to it. We wanted something that we could walk out our office door onto.

I made a simple post on Facebook that we were looking for someone to build a deck and was immediately swamped with responses. Some were absolutely ridiculous, like the fellow that told me he could build any size deck I wanted for $1,200. Really? Any size? I don’t think so. Someone else came to give us an estimate and we told him the size we wanted the deck to be 24 feet wide by 12 foot deep. He insisted that it had to be 16 foot deep because that’s the size lumber came in. Huh? I could have sworn I have seen different lengths of lumber at Lowe’s. Yet another person made an appointment to come and give us an estimate at 2 o’clock on Saturday, then when the time rolled around, he texted and said he was stopping for lunch first and would not be here till 2:30. As it turned out it was after three when he arrived. I figure if you can’t do what you say you’re going to do when you’re trying to get my business, you’re probably not going to be very reliable after you have my deposit, either. Next!

As soon as we met father and son team Scott and Alan Banks from Banks Construction LLC, Terry and I were both very comfortable with them. They didn’t give us the lowest bid, but it’s not always about saving the most money. We knew they would do the kind of job we wanted on the schedule they promised. We signed a contract and gave them a deposit on Monday, and Alan told me they would start Thursday morning between 6 and 7 a.m.

We all know I’m not a morning person, but I was awake and out the door by 6 a.m. This is what 6 a.m. looks like at my house. Interesting, but I never have to see that again.

Sure enough, at 6:15 the guys were here and started unloading wood from their trailer. I thought that this was kind of like an IKEA build your own deck kit. 😊

Their first chore was to remove the old steps from the back of the house, then they dug holes for the upright posts and built a frame for the deck.

It seemed like that didn’t take them very long at all.

It’s obvious that Scott and Alan get along well. They know what they’re doing, and they get right on it. They told me they would work until it started getting too hot, then knock off and come back around 6:30 p.m., when the sun was on the other side of the house and they would have some shade to work in. They quit a little after 9:00 a.m., having already completed more than I expected to see on the whole first day.

Terry read and I snoozed in my recliner for a while, then I wrote another chapter in my new Big Lake book, proofread the last three chapters I had written, and printed out six chapters for Terry to edit and proofread.

About the time I did that I heard pounding out back, and even though it was only 3 p.m. there was Scott laying down more deck boards. It was still very hot out and I asked why he was back so soon. He said he got bored at home and figured he’d come out and do some more work.

By the time Alan got here a couple of hours later they only had a few more boards to put down.

Then they started working on the railing.

I’m amazed at how much these guys got done in one day, and they both figure the project should be finished today. Terry and I are delighted with how things are coming together and we’re looking forward to enjoying our new deck very soon.

Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of Terry’s cookbook, Miss Terry’s Kitchen, full of delightful and delicious recipes that are sure to make you a hit with your family and friends.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. This one comes from my pal Judy Rinehimer, who spotted this sign in Warsaw, New York a while back.

Thought For The Day I am too lazy to be lazy.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Deck Project Day One”

  1. Nick because your porch is open to all the elements underneath . you might want to have them put half inch mesh to keep out The little varmints otherwise you’ll never know What might be growing or hatching underneath there Actually, you might want to do it wherever it’s open like your porch air is OK critters not OK especially if they have a strip

  2. Hi Nick — Just so you know, even though I recently won the Tinder Street book (which I am still reading since “stuff” got in the way), I am hoping to win Miss Terry’s wonderful cookbook so I can give it to my daughter. She tried taking my copy that I bought…but I am selfish and keeping it for myself. The new deck looks wonderful and we both have the same attitude towards contractors. Why do so many not understand how to treat customers? Stay cool in this awful heat! Lynn

  3. Decks up here in the frozen tundra are done a little differently from yours, with concrete footings to keep the posts from rotting. Did you use treated lumber? Also, our floor boards have a 1/4 “ space for expansion and for water to drain through. We used vinyl railings and they have an open kick space of 3 or 4 inches which also allows for drainage (and sweeping stuff off the deck). My concern is that you have the potential for water in a heavy rain to back up against your siding.
    For many months of the year, our deck is another room for us. Enjoy!

  4. Liz, yes, they used treated lumber and will be pouring concrete around the posts to protect and secure them.The wood shrinks a bit which will create space between the boards.

  5. Looks like a great start to a nice deck & porch you & your family/friends will enjoy for many years.. These two craftsman are demons. lol.
    Just an observation – Are the deck support posts treated with creosote before they are set in concrete?

  6. From your pictures of the deck, it was hard to see if they poured concrete around the uprights. If not, you could end up with a deck twisting and settling after very little time. You make investments to last.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your deck.

    It’s about time.

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