Awaiting the ROSSI's delivery took us till 12:30 in the afternoon, which allowed for some much needed sleep and french toast. The delivery truck would be loaded with 2x4s, concrete, extra 2x12s, decking, fascia, plywood, 2" rigid foam insulation, and a partridge in an apple tree. Our little old driver even brought a tricycle-forklift to unload it all.
Our goals for the day were to finish the stairs, which turned out to be a joke, and to start on the decking, which was another good one. We got as far as we could on the first set of stairs, and then scrambled over to the second set, where I (perhaps?) dug my very last hole and mixed my last bags of concrete. We set a 2x8 flat in this landing pad, instead of a 2x4. We also made it flush with the top of the concrete pad, which made our lives much easier. When we wrapped up for the day it was this dark:
...and......... the fog cleared! We saw the remains of real sunshine for the first time since September 6.
As late as our start was yesterday, we made up for it with an early start today, and were working by 9 am for our first sunny start in a long time. We jumped on the first set of stairs, and finished it up with much frustration. Thanks to Erin's excellent stair-stringer-cutting learning curve, our stringers were abominably close to perfect. Our stair-friendly mood then allowed us to complete the second set with much more ease. All in all, the first set of stairs took us 2 days. The second set took us 20 minutes. Dur.
testing out las escaleras nuevas
Our first surprise visitors stopped by at this time - my favorite family in Mendocino - Derek, Shannon and Dylan (Haley was sorely missed, but who can skip 2nd grade for yurting?). We had a chat, discussed recycled decking materials and the age-old trees vs. shrubs debate, picked some apples and had a grand old time. As they pulled away, we were just about ready for decking. We sent mom back down to town for decking screws and lunch, and got started plotting out our decking perimeter.
For a better understanding of how this decking works, go to this website and poke around. We have grooved deck boards, which have tiny grooves on both edges, and are secured to the deck using metal fastener tabs; and regular perimeter deck boards with no grooves, which we will also use on the stairs. The perimeter boards will just be screwed down sans metal tabs. After reading through the decking manual this morning, we realized we are going to need a lot more support - who would've thought? - so we're just going to use the many many board scraps we've got laying around the job site. Great idea.
And just in time, mom pulled up in her big diesel monster, toting a delicious smorgasbord of stainless steel composite deck screws, breads, cheese, veggies, salty chips, pickles, chocolate, and...Erin's favorite...
mmmmmm ... this is the only beer that Erin will drink without complaining.
Needless to say, it was a delicious feast.
Afterwards, we continued on around the perimeter with our boards, cutting each corner to a wonderfully aesthetic 45 degrees, and each joint to a 22 degree scarf cut. Lots of precision involved here. We have to pre-drill each hole in this step, and back up our holes with additional blocking.
...and for all you critical eyes: due to the thermal coefficient of expansion, this fake-wood decking needs 1/8" gap wherever two boards meet. So, yes - we did it on purpose.
After work, Maia decided to take the new decking for a test run, and Erin decided to take me on a spin around the pond in the lawn mower wagon. It was quite fun, and very scenic.
Pretty scattered couple of days, but we're making progress. It's been slow going, but tomorrow we'll be in more of a groove.
i couldn't resist