I call the deck “done” but of course, it is never really done. There is still a checklist of small nuisance items that need to be addressed - tighten bolts on new furniture, we have not decided on the skirting, cabinet doors need a latch, the steps up to the deck need to be replaced, one additional light needs to be installed, etc. etc. etc. But it is done enough to use it and for now it is enough.
This is the pergola that Martha wanted because she had seen this idea of hanging windows on it. At first I couldn’t visualize it and it was a real pain to build, but now that’s it done I really like it. It definitely defines the space. And the bars chairs and cafe table make a beautiful place for me to sit and sip my morning coffee.
The railings look fancy but they were pre-builts from Home Depot. I just had to cut them to size and screw them in. Then I added a top rail to hold my flower boxes. I collect the seeds and start new plants every year in the basement.
I also cut down a small section of railing behind the grill because I was afraid of heat build up behind there. Definitely don’t want any fire hazards.
This is the sitting area of the deck. At first we made the deck bigger to accommodate more seating area around a dining table but then decided to move the table off the deck and make it just for sitting/conversation. On nights when it’s just me and Martha for dinner we sit at the cafe table for dinner or sit side by side on the glider with plates on our laps.
And I got my chaise lounge chair because all I wanted was a comfortable place to read. And indeed it is.
The kitchen area held us up for a long time, for which I was grateful because, wow, I was so physically tired from building this monster, I needed the break. First I built cabinets to accommodate a dorm frig one of the girls brought home. But it wound up being way too high. So we dug through the shed that has become a storage unit of college crap and found a second, smaller frig. Then I had to rebuild the cabinets to hold it. We will have to store it in the off season.
But the countertop is what really stymied us. First we wanted granite but the cost was going to be between $1500 and $2000. Uhhhh, no. Then every other idea we came up with - tile, cement, marble, stone, etc. - got nixed because all reports were that with our temperatures ranging from minus 20 to high 90s, almost everything would crack. Then a friend, who was also building a deck, had some leftover Trex boards, so we used that. We don’t particularly like it but it will serve as a temporary counter until we can come up with something better. Plus we have a little left over so I can make a matching bench and end tables.
Martha took care of the lighting which at first I didn’t want - ambient light interfering with my view of the stars - but I have to admit, I do like it.
And finally, my marshmallow station.
We started this project in April. It took significantly longer than I planned but, except for the furniture, it came in under budget. The best, and hardest of the work is all underneath and will never be seen, but I know. And now Martha sits out there making lists of more projects. But first I am resting my body.
And toasting marshmallows.