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

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Deck Railing & More Erosion Prevention Projects

Today was a perfect day for working outside...temp in the mid 60's, breeze blowing, sun shining, birds singing...you get the picture.

We have 2 projects that we have been working on today - deck railing (Johny's project today, but we will be working together on this over the next several weeks) and erosion control (my project).  

The deck railing is finally getting built...I know, you thought that rope was our railing, it's been there so long, but no, we are going to have real railing...it's going to be a rustic rail created from portions of the trees we cut from our woods (some parts went for firewood, some parts were saved for this purpose). Now that the weather is beginning to warm up, we can work more easily with the wood, and we want to get it done so we can fully enjoy the deck throughout the spring and summer (well really forever and ever more!)

We are using what is called "skip peel finish", which basically means you scrape the bark off the log, taking more off in some places than others.  This is the first piece to be installed, as viewed from on the deck; you can see how there are some spots that are lighter than others, those are the spots that got scraped a little deeper (that line at the top is a natural small fissure in the log, happy to have it there!).
 This is the view from the yard. 
There will be 9 upright posts, and the top rail will be secured to the top of them.  There will be a bottom rail that will be inserted (mortise and tenon style) about 3 inches up from the deck floor.  The insides of the railing will be rhododendron and/or mountain laurel branches (they have a natural curve as they grow) that are attached in a random way, to create a very rustic look.  All the wood will look like the first post, but this gives you a general idea of the direction we are moving in.  I do believe it is going to be fantastic!!!

My erosion control project is a continuation of the spreading of the gravel in the yard, driveway and under the deck project that I told you about last month.  We still have a little incline under the deck that needs to be "secured" so to speak.   You can see it in the picture below.
Step 1 was to clear all the leaves and sticks that had settled there; I used the blower and sent them into the woods.  Step 2 was to lay and secure landscape cloth, which will keep the soil in place and prevent weeds from growing.
Step 3 was to cover the landscape cloth with rocks.  I started with the pile below, which was collected from our garden before we prepared it for winter. 
It was slow work, but worth the effort...I had noticed quite a bit of soil had washed down the hill and into the pea gravel, even though it's only a month ago since we had laid it under the deck...I'm so glad I finally got the motivation and the good weather to get this project started!
I ended up using all the rocks in the pile, plus some that we had put behind the cabin for later use, and I only got halfway up the hill.  Tomorrow, I will be hunting for rocks...no worries, they are everywhere, I just have to go and collect them!  So far, so good!
This is another view, the same as the first picture I took before I started.  Eventually, the front side of the deck (the right side of the photo) will have lattice, so no one will see this unless they are under the deck, but it will look finished and will keep the soil where it belongs.

A good days work, and we are both feeling that good kind of tired.  You know what I like best about it?  We are using natural resources from our property to accomplish these projects.  It feels so good to be able to accomplish a task with resources at hand...living off the land!  Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

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


Dad/Pepere said...

Looking good...now for a day's rest! Hugs!

Lise said...

Thanks dad, hugs back!