A New Deck

When we bought this neglected old house of ours, we made a list of all the things we needed to fix. Somewhere down the list was the item “replace old deck” but despite being older than the pyramids, the pile of weathered wood outside our front door that we called a “deck” somehow managed to hold our weight, so replacing it never made it to the top of the list. That was until Friday morning, when little Clover decided to pull a large piece of the old deck up and eat it (as you can see by the missing piece in the picture). And so this weekend became dedicated to deck replacement! Here is our sad (and dangerous) deck before:

Deck Before

I naively thought the job would be fairly easy. I made a trip to the hardware shop and bought some replacement decking boards, nails and a circular saw, planning just to rip up and replace the old, brittle boards. But once I started pulling the deck up and saw the joists underneath, my heart sank. Below our weathered deck was a tangled mess of rusty nails wriggling their way out of old rotten beams. In one spot there was even evidence of a small fire! Scarily, the joist beneath an uncharacteristically new section of deck was actually half charcoal. So it was back to the hardware shop to buy new joists!

Burnt Joist

Dogs Watching Reuben

Once the new joists were in place, the it all came together rather quickly and by this afternoon the job was complete! We still have to oil the boards for weather protection but we now have a nice safe deck, and one more thing ticked off our never ending to-do list.

Reubs and Dogs on Finished Deck

Reuben and Clover

Daisy and Clover seem pretty chuffed with their new sunbaking spot too!


PS. You may have noticed that the bottom panel of our front door is cracked and has been taped up. It turns our my dad was right, that is what happens when you run around inside the house. Another thing for the to-do list – “replace front door”.

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About Reuben

Reuben is a green thumb with a knitting machine for a brain. He likes dinosaurs, The Beatles and homebrew (among many other things).


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18 Responses to “A New Deck”

  1. Joy March 3, 2014 at 2:50 am #

    Can’t you blame a dog/cat chasing a toy/ball for the cracked door panel???

    Well done with the decking

    • Reuben
      Reuben March 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

      I could never! The blood on my knee would have given me away anyway 🙂

  2. domestickate March 3, 2014 at 3:48 am #

    The deck looks great! If I may ask, how you do guys know so much about fixing up the house? Are you learning as you go or are just handy people to begin with? I’m hoping to buy a house in the near future, but I’m dreading the prospect of maintenance! I love seeing your house progress. You two are inspiring.

    • Reuben
      Reuben March 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      If in doubt, ask the internet! We’re total beginners but a lot of it is common sense. It always helps to have books on hand too. Reader’s Digest have a book called ‘Repair Manual’ which we see in op shops every now and then. It covers everything from upholstering chairs to repairing lawn mower motors. Our copy had flowers pressed in the pages when we bought it! Don’t be afraid to give things a go. We’re just figuring it out as we go but we haven’t had any major mishaps yet! 🙂

  3. Gina March 3, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    Very, VERY well done, Reuben! I know what it’s like to think a deck replacement is going to be a small job and then having it turn into having to replace the whole support structure. That’s what
    happened at my house last summer here in the USA. Good to know you all are safe, too.

    New York State

    • Reuben
      Reuben March 4, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      We didn’t realise just how unsafe it was until I started pulling it up! If I’d known, I would have replaced it much earlier. You live and learn! 🙂

  4. The Life of Clare March 3, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    You’ve done a fantastic job! It looks amazing.

  5. Kathy March 3, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    A great achievement looks great

  6. janine March 3, 2014 at 7:52 am #

    What a great accomplishment for an afternoons work. It feels good to have one job of the list completed. Well done!

  7. Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie March 3, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Impressive work! Clearly the pooches are very happy with your handiwork!

    • Katie
      Katie March 4, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      They weren’t very impressed while the boards were ripped up and they couldn’t sprawl in their usual spot! They are so funny. 🙂

  8. Life With The Crew March 3, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Well done – we are always putting off projects until they HAVE to be done. Looks like you had some great helpers! We have an old glass paned door inside our house that looks like yours – one pane has a huge crack in it. Nothing like some tape for decorating!

    • Katie
      Katie March 4, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      All the best people decorate with packing tape! Haha! x

  9. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur March 4, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    The deck looks great! It’s such a lovely feeling to get things done around your home, isn’t it? We’ve been on our farm for just over 2 years and have had many projects to do around for the farm, but recently we’ve been doing some things around the house too, like painting and getting a fence up around the house for the dogs. It feels lovely! Next on the list is a herb garden right next to the house, so we don’t have to trip up the paddock to the big vegie patch in the middle of cooking dinner for a sprig of parsley 🙂

    Hope you have a good week!
    Sarah x

  10. Meg March 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Awesome job Katie and Reuben! Deck looks brilliant!

  11. Ock Du Spock March 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    You did a really great job on your deck! It’s kind of ridiculous how long the “to do” list gets when you buy a house isn’t it? Somehow, no matter how much you do, it never seems to get shorter 🙂

  12. tors March 5, 2014 at 7:49 pm #

    Bloomin’ well done on that deck, it looks gorgeous! You’re so brave, I’m terrified of power tools and the drill is looming large in my future as I have to rehang my garden gate (that one I can blame on the dog). I love how you just wade right in and tackle these problems that come up, finding fire damage is always scary – my staircase bannisters revealed fire damage when I stripped them – so yay it didn’t extend too far! And huzzah for a beautiful (and safe) deck, hope you enjoy many lazy hours out on it.

  13. Mevrouw Wispeltuut March 5, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Well done!

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