A Single Summer Day in the Middle of Spring

Easter Sunday delivered a surprise, a summer day smack dab in the middle of spring. The days leading up to Easter were still chilly with temperatures hovering between the 40s and 50s but on Easter we woke to a beautiful sunny day in the mid 7os. Today it’s raining and back in the 40s as will most of this week be.

My Easter plan was to spend Saturday and early Sunday with family then return home. I couldn’t have planned for better timing. Arriving home at lunch time the weather was so beautiful I skipped lunch and headed back outside to get some work started on the deck.

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I have been frustrated that the work on the deck hasn’t been completed yet.  We hired one person to repair the deck and build the ramps so they would be finished when I moved in. On move in day, my son was here trying to fix areas of the ramps just so I could get inside the house and the repairs to the rotted areas of the deck were still waiting to be done.  This was one view of the deck on move in day.

 

my houe deck
Every thing under those leaves was so rotted it was unsafe to go near.

Since then we’ve demolished the railings, replaced the rotted boards, rebuilt the ramps, attached the deck to the house to stabilize it, built a mini ramp from the deck to the entrance of the house, and moved the original stairs from one side of the deck to the other.  We had considered leaving the stairs off but I felt strongly that having the stairs was important. An able-bodied person can walk up five steps quickly and prefer stairs to ramps.

The railings are still not completed which is frustrating but at least it’s one of the last jobs to complete and then I will be able to call this space finished.  I’ve decided to do the railings myself, it’s not that hard of a job. I’ll need an extra pair of hands to help hold pieces in place while I attach them, but I already know who that little person will be.  This is very similar to how my rails will end up looking but painted white.  There is no reason for a roof over the entire deck as this is the north side of the house and gets very little sun making this a comfortable place to sit even on the hottest days.

deck rails

 

But on this lovely summer-like day I decided to start painting the supports and the rails that are up.  I love a natural wood deck but that just doesn’t work on this house. For one when I think of a deck I picture it being on the back of the house facing ones yard.  My house is “unique’ in that the front of the house with the nice little porch faces the yard of another house and the “back” of my house, with the deck, faces the street.

ramps
Street view

The entry door isn’t noticeable from the street which drives me crazy as I like to see the entrance.  I feel a house where the entrance is hidden looks unwelcoming.  The only way to fix this and give a bit of shelter from the weather will be to build an overhang like this one.

Bungalow Restoration
Bungalow Restoration

This summer when I have that part of the house resided I’ll add the overhang. I have most of the materials needed to build this, including shingles found in the shed. Nice of the previous owners to leave so much stuff behind. 🙂

I painted all the areas I could reach for today and will get help with the rest. I have a nine year old who has been begging me for work already this spring and really wants to paint so maybe I’ll give him his wish.  He’s so cute. His aunt was asking him to come to her house and help her with some work and he asked how much she was paying. I asked him why he didn’t ask me the same question and he shrugged and said I could pay him or not, it didn’t matter to him. 🙂

stairs

You can see under the deck I have wood left that the first guy we hired to work on the deck purchased but didn’t use along with plastic lattice. The lattice is a sore spot with me as I told him no plastic was going on my house. He returned with this and informed me it was recycled so it was a good compromise between what he wanted to do and what I wanted. Not! Since it can’t be returned at this point I will use both the wood boards and the lattice to enclose the underside of the deck, hence why I needed to start on the painting as soon as I could.

A few days ago, with the neighbor boy begging for work I told him he could go in the yard and pull out all the bricks and cement blocks that were tossed in piles by the previous owner. I asked that they be neatly piled next to the lower ramp in the driveway but unfortunately as soon as his cousins saw he was here working they came over and he delegated the job of stacking the bricks to them. It soon became a messy pile. 😦

bricks

I have a plan for those bricks. What else is new, right?  That empty space between the landing for the ramps and the stairs will get a lovely raised planter using these bricks where I can plant variegated hosta and some flowers. The planter with the fresh paint and a door overhang should be enough to make visitors feel they are welcome.

It felt good to be back outside feeling the sun beat down on my skin and of course I love to paint so having a couple of days without rain before this was an added bonus for my Easter Sunday.

The deck itself needs pressure washed and then a special paint to keep the boards I deemed worthy of saving from any further damage, Rustoleum’s Restore is the product recommended if you are curious.  That job has to wait until it’s consistently warm so the old wood can completely dry before painting.  Other companies make similar products for old wood but the reviews are horrible with stories of the paint peeling off even in mild conditions.

ramps

That’s my sneak peek at the new color scheme I choose for the house. The house, and shed, will be a deep brown with white trim. The deck will be a gray with white to tie it all in.  As I sat back admiring the fresh look the white paint added I felt a sense of accomplishment and am now excitedly waiting for more nice weather to get more done.

If there was one negative aspect to this lovely day it was the visitor that made sure I knew was here.

stinkbug

Yes, the stinkbugs are back.  This guy must have liked the fresh paint because he arrived between the first and second coats on this rail.  Later I found what I believe was probably the same one sitting on my leg. Time to pull out the Peppermint Essential Oil. Sigh.

How was your Easter?

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14 comments

    • Me too. I was so frustrated with the slow progress last summer that I even apologized to my neighbors for not getting more done to improve the appearance and give them a nicer view. I was serious but they laughed and thought I expected too much.

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  1. It’s shaping up real nice, Lois. I worry about you and a kid on the deck putting up railing. Maybe because a little tip and over you go. We are finally going to get a sunshine tomorrow. Not a day too soon. The gray was starting to get to me. I’m ready to get started on the painting too. it gives instant gratification. Spring is here and warm and stink bugs are part of it. I so hate those bugs. They bite so be careful.

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    • Don’t worry I won’t work where I don’t have something solid to hold on to while putting up the railings. I’ll work from the bottom up so to start I’ll be able to work while sitting on the ground or the ramp and see how it goes. I even decided against painting one of the supports for now because I wasn’t comfortable with so little to hold on to.

      We have some sun today but the temps are barely in the 40s so work outside has been put off until we get nicer temps.

      I didn’t know stinkbugs bit! Thanks now I really hate them. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so productive with your nice weather! I’m much more likely to squander mine on a walk or a bike ride! Anyhow, thanks for the tip on the paint. I’ve got some old wood that I haven’t been able to get anything to stick to for more than a year or two. I’ll have to give the Rustoleum Restore a try!

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    • A bike ride is productive too 🙂 By the end of the afternoon I felt muscles I haven’t used in a while so not much different from your way to spend a nice day.

      The contractor has used the Restore with good results, it’s pricey but worth it if it holds up. The other brands he says flake off in both warm and cold weather and one of the brands he says even dusty footprints can’t be washed off making it look horrible.

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    • It doesn’t matter how mild a winter we have I’m always itching to get back outside even if it’s only to play in the dirt, in the garden. 🙂 Do you have a large number of projects on your list waiting for warm weather?

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  3. It’s all coming together real nice, Lois. Amazing what you’ve done since you’ve moved in. Happy to hear you had some nice weather to get a little something done on your deck.

    Wasn’t that springy in Colorado over Easter. We had a couple of snowstorms blow in within 2 days of each other — one dropped 8 inches and the last one left around 10 inches behind. But,a lot of it has melted since Easter Sunday with more intermittent storms looming. It can be that way in March for us and this year we especially needed it. Our winter was pretty mild and dry.

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    • I heard about your storms, Pat, and I’m sorry they resulted in isolating you at home for Easter. We too can get storms in March, even April now and again, but the snow is usually gone in a day or two. Our winter was dry as well. This area averages 49 inches of snow annually and we only got 16 inches. I think things have balanced out with all the rain we’ve gotten.

      I can see the way things will look in my head but time and money keeps the process moving along slowly. It will get there, one day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Lois, it all worked out nice and enjoyed being home at Easter. The snow is a welcome site as it has been so dry and becoming hazardous for dangers of fire. Looks like we sure made up for it in March and just have to continue with showers this spring and summer, I hope.

        I’m glad the process is going well for you on the house. No hurries, for sure, to just enjoy it along the way as it works out. 🙂

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