1 In Home Reno & Decor

Ten things you need to keep in mind when buidling a deck. {The DIY family version}

 Remember that deck we were telling you about mid summer?? 
Yeah, well we picked the worst summer ever to build anything outdoors. I think this is the first summer, that I can remember, where under the heat of the hot August sun, the luscious grass didn’t shrivel, dry out, turn brown, feel crunchy and cut feet instead of us cutting IT with the lawn mower.
Nope, instead, this summer endured torrential down pours every other day. Although it made for gorgeous-soft-roll-all-over-the-yard-in-the-nude-kind-of-grass, it made for uneventful deck building.
We built the top deck and then dragged our giant barbeque back up on to it –together. We then took a few days off, knowing that our marriage probably couldn’t handle one more near death experience at the hands of the other. 😉
Note to self: start going to the gym that we are paying for anyways and start chugging more protein shakes instead of ice cream cones. BBQ’s are HEAVY.
So the long and short of it is, that our deck building experience has dragged on and on and our backyard has actually looked like a land fill all summer.  
The dog doesn’t have very high standards, and even she looks mildly disgusted.
Since our deck building has taken all summer and isn’t complete, and there are still no pretty pictures to share with you, I figured I would instead share some of the things we have learned while being a do-it-yourself family.
And these are in no particular order…
#1. Big brother wielding a big-ole’ hammer, inches away from little sisters head, is never, ever a good idea.  
Where are these kids parents!?
 #2 Do not buy, transport, painstakingly dig holes for and plant 15 cedar trees and then leave on vacation.  
They are not eggs and do not look good fried.
#3 Babies don’t need to necessarily wear pants (It was a hot and messy summer, people!) But they should never, under any circumstance, have access to drills of any size and shape. Getting a weapon like that away from a terrible two year old is tres difficile!
#4 Don’t let your oldest son practice the balance beam on the itty bitty width of the deck boards.  
Seeee??? Seeeeee wayyy back there???
This picture could have been a lot worse if I hadn’t warned him on “deck safety” and threatened that he needed to give me grand children one day.
#5 Boxer dogs are the bomb diggity and are complete camera lovers.
 #6 Action shots are the best.  
My main man sure does show off his cute bum a lot. He is gonna kill me for all these awesome action photos.
Also, that baby-man is much sweeter looking without all that power gripped between his grubby little trigger friendly paws.  
The human baby.
#7 Dogs are said to be mans best friend, but at some point, they question your sanity when you are pantless and grinning like a fool with a death grip around their necks.

#7 Sometimes in the middle of a long freaking project, you need to get refocused, buck up, put on a new outfit that makes you feel great, and keep on going. 
As with pants, your mothers pink lipstick is totally optional but sure does go well with animal print.
 #8 Warning: hard working men can become irritated if a laughing woman with a big camera keeps snapping pictures instead of offering help.  
Or, at least a good looking sandwich.
#9 Mamas, don’t laugh too hard at said mini-comedian-fashionista-child because he may beg to smear on lipstick every day after this deck side photo shoot.
#10 Most importantly, give your handy man a ton of encouragement along the way. Remind him how great he is and offer a hand or two when needed. High five him after he drags the heavy saw in during a down pour and after he exceeds your design expectation with his expertise. Hand him a cold drink once in a while, offer sunscreen when its hot, occupy the children when you aren’t climbing ladders too, make a hot dinner after he has worked all day and spent his “down time” in the hot sun, and whatever you do, and whatever you say, please, do not rush him.
Great things take time.
There will be times when you feel dared to call him “Noah”.
 There will be times when you will both shake your fists at the weather channel and at each other, but please remember to hold on to the fact that when you are a DIY family, these bumps in the road and wrinkles in the plan are things that may slow you down now, but they will be the moments you look back on, laugh at, and they deffinetly are the things that will make you appreciate the building process and the journey so much more.
Turning a house into a home is not for the faint of heart, but it will be worth every long summers night and every pant less and embarrassing photo.

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  • Bonnie Schulte
    October 22, 2014 at 3:27 am

    I enjoyed reading this so much!!! It's a good thing I am not there to help..not that I would be of any help..I would be one who would be laughing and getting the "look" along with you.. But this deck is going to be AWESOME,in the future, when it is finished..Really, your husband is amazing to build this all alone. And this too shall pass,and you both will have only fond memories of the summer… I've heard that saying many times, so it must be true. (grin)