2013 House Project Recaps: The Deck

by Lindsey on January 2, 2014

in J&L Make a House a Home

I’m taking the month of January to catch you up on all the house projects we completed in 2013! Hopefully I can get them all in this month, so that I can start telling you about current projects by February!

The first project I’ll tell you about is the deck! You may remember that our big yard project for 2013 was supposed to be a fence. But, that all changed when we inherited a hot tub from Justin’s mom’s house!

Before we could do anything, we needed some pre-work done. First, we had a guy Justin knew from high school come in and do some electrical work for us. For locals, he owns Wise Electrical Services, and he’s fantastic! (He doesn’t have a website, but if you’re looking for someone, let me know and I’ll get you his number!) We needed to run power to the outside for the hot tub, and while he was available, we also had him do a few other things for us, which I’ll show you in another post!

I guess now would be a good time to introduce our good friend Ben. You’ll probably hear a lot about him in the coming weeks, as he’s our go-to project assistant! Everyone say Hi Ben!

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Once everything was working correctly, Justin and Ben drew out a deck design. Our idea was to build a platform around the hot tub, but it wasn’t just a simple box, because we had to make a part of it removable. You’ll see why in a moment.




See that big hole in the cement? That’s a drain where our sewage backs up, which we know because it has happened on two separate occasions. We needed to make that part accessible, so if it ever does happen, we can get in there to clear it out. It took a lot of thinking between the guys, but they came up with a solution. It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but we hope we won’t have to use it very often. (or ever.)

Once we knew what we were building, Justin and I went to Home Depot to get all the supplies. We paid them to deliver, because there was no way we were getting any of this home in my Ford Focus! (This is also when Justin bought his impact driver, mentioned in our Best of 2013 post!)


We have a tendency to do these updates right before a big event, so of course we put ourselves in a huge time crunch. We only had a few days to get  everything completed for our Annual End of Summer Bash! Once the lumber arrived, we literally spent 3 days straight doing nothing but digging holes and drilling nails, but we got it done just in time! (And yes, even I got in on the fun, since Ben wasn’t able to help the whole 3 days!)




We built the whole thing slightly off the ground, so the rain drains through and then runs underneath the boards along the cement, which is already at a slight slope toward the yard. Here you can see where the removable piece connects. Basically, if we ever need to get to the drain, we can unscrew the sideboards in two places and flip the whole piece over into the yard.


And here’s the finished product!




There were also a few extra things we had to do, like making a small removable piece where the drain on the hot tub is, and building stairs to get in! Jut even put the top step on hinges, so we can store chemicals inside.

Overall, we’re super happy with it! We already had a table and chairs, but we found some other furniture on clearance at Home Depot. It’s also way bigger than it looks in pictures, big enough that we fit two chaise lounges, two big tables, 6 chairs, and 25 people on it at our party with no issue!

The next step will be to stain it, but we were told to wait until the spring, so I’ll post an update when we get to that! We want to add some kind of bench around the yard sides and maybe some taller tables around the hot tub for drinks and such, but we can’t do that until we replace the hot tub cover and install a lift kit. We also plan to build an upper deck someday, but not until we finally get that fence up!

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