We had some unfinished projects from last year when snow came a little too early. These are spring projects that included decks, finishing the siding and landscaping.
Now the winter is finally over. Trees are getting leaves and flowering. Nature is beautiful.
As always we are operating on a very limited budget. Of course, one of our goals is to see how inexpensively we can build a home.
We hired a contractor for the first time. I wanted continuous gutters which require special equipment. The contractor was an old friend and installed gutters on the house and garage, including leaf screens on the garage. The total cost was 850.00. Our rain barrels have been filled with valuable rainwater that we are using liberally for new plantings.
We also installed our surveillance system. It was one I had purchased a few years ago and never installed. It works perfectly, giving us 360 degree views of our property
We built the 10′ x 24″ deck with outdoor wood. The joists are 2 x 8 and the decking is 5/4 inch outdoor wood. It is attached to the house with joist hangers and rests on 5 concrete deck blocks. This allows for some movement without damage and is easily adjusted in the future. This method is fine for a low deck, but a higher deck should have posts securely attached to concrete pilings.
The railings are PVC that I was given for free. There was far more than I needed, so the rest (still a full truckload) was donated to the local legion.
Notice the blocking used to reduce deflection.
A ramp was added to the driveway side and steps to the garden side.
Railings assembled easily once I figured it all out.
The deck, mostly finished, still needs skirting. I think i will use white PVC lattice.
I installed our natural gas BBQ and now we need to purchase a patio set. It will have to wait until after taxes are paid and I accumulate a little cash. Material for the deck cost me about $1400.00. Good thing the railing was free.
We spent about $200.00 on trees (mostly fruiting) and plants. Some trees and perennials were moved from our last house and others were gifts. We have seeded some patches of grass but most will wait till next year We fell that sod would be too expensive, although it would speed things up considerably.
Now all we need is some guests enjoy the deck with us.