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  • A little help from Limpet
Our “new” deck is almost five years old now. I always had bigger dreams for the square apron that extends towards the trees, but at the time we opted to put up a minimalist railing for safety reasons. Of course that had the effect of eliminating all the urgency of doing something else with the space.

A couple of weeks ago at Fiona’s behest I ordered some nice globe lights to string over the apron. We spend a lot of time walking around Nelson and, being new to the whole business of neighbourhood rambles, we enjoy noticing the neat things people have done with their homes and businesses. We were admiring a lovely lighted patio and suddenly the push was on to enact some similar ambiance at home.

Over the Easter long weekend, with all four of us home and available, we decided it would be an opportune time to push to get the project both started and [hopefully] completed. I had spent a few hours the previous week digging the screws and bolts out of the under-inner-side of the old uprights. Chuck had got busy reclaiming lumber from the remains of our old carport, cutting it down to the right dimensions.

When we got home from Nelson mid-day on Friday the girls immediately got busy with the measuring tape, some cardboard templates and the jigsaw. Spring is still toying with us: while the sun shows up from time to time, temperatures tend to otherwise hover just above the freezing point, and today was definitely on the cool side. The fire pit helped warm our hands up when we needed. Between them Sophie and Fiona did almost all the 40-odd decorative ends for the beams.

The first afternoon we got all the beams prepped and ready for assembly.

Then we hit a couple of snags. First … it snowed overnight. It took a few hours for the snow to melt. And then we realized that the 8″ lag bolts weren’t quite long enough to anchor the two corner posts that had to be mounted into diagonal braces. Eyeballs and guesses had been substituted for trigonometry. That’ll teach us! The building supply store was closed for the holidays, so we were stuck.

We did still manage to do a fair bit of assembly, using clamps and braces and gravity and what hardware we had. We got to the point of having the main structure standing, with the cross-beams laid overtop but not secured. The next time we have a chance to do some work, we’ll substitute in the proper bolts, attach the cross-beams, work on wattle railings and attach the light strings.




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