Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fall is in the Air & Deck Groundbreaking

The early mornings are cool and the maple trees are beginning to turn!  I am pleasantly surprised that this is taking place in mid August, and being that I love cooler weather, this gets me excited about experiencing everything that Fall and Winter bring here in the mountains.

I am also excited that we have broken ground for our deck!  We are just in the beginning stages, and this will be a long project, because we will be doing a lot of the work ourselves.

As you may recall, we had to remove a huge stump and grade the area (you can click on the link to read more about that), which we completed in early July.  But it took us some time to find a skilled person to help us with the framing of the deck; we now have Ronnie, a neighbor a couple miles down the road working with us...he has helped many folks around here with all kinds of building (and other) projects.

This is the side of the house where the deck is going, it will be 42 x 16, running the entire east side of the cabin (I know, it sounds huge, but it really won't feel that way once we put everything out there that we want).  Mountain Man is taking a look behind the wood planks to look at the truss to be sure there is sufficient room to attach the ledger (the part that attaches the deck frame to the cabin).  I sound like I know what I am talking about, this is all a 'learning as I go' situation, but I am enjoying learning how this all works!

This is Mountain Man & Ronnie discussing some details and getting ready to measure.

Another neighbor, Ron, has shown up to lend a hand.  They are measuring the right angle from the cabin out to where the first 6x6 support post that will hold up the frame will go.  There will be 11 of these all together.

Ronnie & Johny (Mountain Man) are marking the center of the spots where the concrete pilings will be (eventually attaching the 6x6 posts to).  Each spot will have a 15x15x18 inch hole that concrete will be poured into.

Over time, Robert (he helped remove the stump and grade), Charlie (he helped with the final grading), Ron, Ronnie & Johny were all standing around.  In the mountains, everyone knows what everyone is doing.  Now and then, a group gathers to shoot the breeze, including talking about what the current project is...I told them it was like a barn raising and they better be careful or everyone would end up working!

So Mountain Man & I are on hole digging detail.  This requires using a pick, a rock crusher, shovels, a wheel barrow and ultimately string.  We started by measuring the 15x15 space around the center marking stick, and began to dig.  We realized it would be easier to stay within the measured area if we strung a line along the sides as a guide (measuring the 15"). We had to dig 18 inches deep, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it is when you are the one digging in a 15x15 hole!  This depth was important, because it is 6 inches below the freeze line, and you don't want your concrete to crack in a deep freeze!
So this is the first hole we dug!  It actually wasn't as hard as I thought it would be; we alternated pick axing, using the rock crusher (this is a 16 lb. long stick with a point and a flat side, one of my favorite new tools because is really helps dig a hole), shoveling and moving the wheel barrow.  We didn't come across as many rocks as we thought we would, and those that we did were small enough to remove with our hands.  We dumped the dirt from the holes to the edge of the large open space to level the ground there a bit more.
And these are the 3 we completed today.  One more needs to be added to the far end, and two more at the front of the picture, one of which is on a slope, which we will finish tomorrow. This is the first row 8' from the wall, there will be a second row another 8 feet from those.  But this will not happen until the beginning of the frame is completed, to be sure everything is square.

Tomorrow, we finish digging the holes, and then filling with the concrete...stay tuned!

It is really exciting to have this project finally under way, and I can't wait until it is done.  The best part is, we are building this thing ourselves (for the most part). Something I have never done before!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

Thanks for the update and knowing the final dimensiions...Sounds like there is a lot of input into this project and that is good. It can be more complicated that it appears to be. Congratulations on digging the holes...that is one tough job!

Lise said...

I know it will feel great when it is done, but it does feel a little daunting at times! One step (or should I say board, LOL) at a time:)