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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Building a "Rain Shield" Under the Deck

When we built the big deck on the side of the cabin (still have the railing and stairs to complete, but yes, we have been enjoying it!), we realized we had a huge amount of space under it that we could use (like parking Bear and storing the lawn mower & other outside type equipment or weather resistant materials).  We decided that in order to make it as useful as possible, we wanted to create a "rain shield" under the deck floor, to keep the rain/snow melt from reaching everything we might store underneath.  The idea was to build a barrier under the deck floor that would allow the water that fell through be captured as it fell through the slats and be "funneled" to the edge of the deck floor, therefore keeping everything under the "rain shield" dry.  Guess what...it's working!!!  See the water?  That is from the melting snow a few days ago!  Woo hoo, it works:)

This is how we did it...

This is the beginning, so you see where we started.

We first built supports to hold the stringers that we would staple the plastic sheeting to.  We decided on a 6 inch slope to be sure the water would drain, and built the supports 8 feet from the cabin wall that would create a 3" slope and then another set at the end of the deck to create the 6" slope.   In addition to these supports, we installed stringers from the cabin ledger the entire 16" out to the edge of the deck floor.  (If you have any questions about this and additional how to instructions, please email me at liseslogcabinlife@gmail.com.)

We chose to use a clear 6 ml plastic sheeting, we bought ours at Lowe's.  Since the sheet is 10' wide, we installed the stringers at 9'8", giving us a little room for error with the plastic sheet.  We also measured the length of each stringer from cabin to deck floor edge, taking the greatest length and using that to measure our sheet of plastic.  We also measured and cut for the spots the posts and supports that would be in our way as we installed the plastic sheets.

This is the first sheet we installed...

 ...we were pleased with the results.  But I forgot to take the step by step photos (a little hard to do when you are one of two installers).

This is sheet 2 installation...the first side having been attached to the stringer.  We used an electric stapler to attach sheet 2 on top of sheet 1 on the stringer.  We then used white duct tape to seal the overlap to keep water from seeping in between any gaps.  We also used tape to seal the gaps around the posts and supports of the deck floor.  If you look closely at the photo above, you will see that. 

We then attached the second side along the cabin.  This becomes a little tricky, because you are now working with the plastic over your head (that is Johny under the sheet on the right, ha ha...sometimes there are advantages to being the one recording things!)
Then side 3...I measured and cut where the plastic would run into the posts/supports, so we could work around them.  While there is nothing about this project that is mind boggling difficult, but let me tell you, the execution is.  Stretching the plastic to create the perfect slope while not allowing for dips that will cause the water to pool takes skill...we are hoping we could execute the task well enough that we do not have problems down the road.  And using duct tape to seal the cut edges around the posts/supports is another area we are hopeful we succeeded in!

Here is the end result, 2 sheets worth.  You can see how much space this will gain us if it all works as we hope it will!

The first photo I shared demonstrated how well our experiment worked after our recent snow and thaw...I hope every sheet we install is as successful!  One more sheet to go, and that will give us 30' of under deck coverage!

Sometimes, I feel like a mad scientist...well, not mad, but filled with the excitement of creating something because you just know it will work!  Love it!!!

Have you ever made something driven by your excitement about it and what it can do?  There are some of you I know out there that have, please share...!

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


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I'm still jealous that you got snow!

Dad/Pepere said...

Nice work...engineering thinking pays off! Now, a rain barrel to catch the water would be perfect! Hugs.

Lise said...

It was a nice surprise Patti, but it's all melted now!

I know Dad, someone asked me about that on my Facebook post too! Rain barrels are definitely on our needs list. For now, we are using buckets:) Hugs back!

Powell River Books said...

We use a suspended tarp (no deck or roof handy) to capture water in rain barrels for our garden that way above lake level. We use two re-used 55-gallon food grade barrels we got from our nursery. - Margy