Having Mim around was so much fun! She's useful, too. Here she is with my Scott just having a blast while putting in carriage bolts (I learned the names of lots of tools and lots of hardware!):
This was the ultimate carriage bolt. I think it was like a foot long. That one took so long to hammer in, and then it took so long to get the washer and nut screwed on that Mim and Scott had to take turns!
Of course once we got a big chunk of the frame done Scott had to test its structural integrity:
Now at this point something interesting happened. Well, not so much interesting as...well, you'll see.
It turns out we had two problems. One was that our concrete pad was neither square at the corners, straight on the edges, or even level. The other was that Home Depot made the plans wrong. They have this computer program that designs decks. You just put in your parameters and it gives you plans that are up to code and everything. Now the code on deck stairs is that they have to be at least three feet wide or else they won't pass inspection. The computer program gave us plans and when we got all the posts and framing done (except the stairs) it became apparent that the stairs would be a few inches too narrow. Oops. So, with both these problems, a lot of things weren't quite working out...so here are Mim and Scott, trying to decide what to do about this:
Here they are, testing to see what is square and what isn't. Note the frustrated look on Scott's face:
So here is a look at how much we got done before we figured out that we had to tear almost all of it down and start over, re-drilling the holes in the concrete so we could reposition the posts so the stairs would be up to code:
Heartbreaking, isn't it?
Anyway, Sunday we woke up again (not as bright and not as early) and got back to work (after going to Home Depot and renting that tool AGAIN). Fortunately the beams were all already cut so we just had to reposition and re-level some things and Sunday we got the entire frame re-built (except the stairs) so at least we got that far. My poor Scott was starting to feel sick, but at this point we figured Scott would probably be able to finish himself, with a little of my help, so Mim went home and we took hot showers, changed into pajamas, and called it a night.
Don't worry, the story doesn't end here.
I'll continue the story on the next episode of "Deck Party"!