View Full Version : So you want to build a deck?

13th Nov 2007, 07:22 PM
An old yarn I recently re-discovered.

Once upon a time, young Groggy thought "why not build a new deck"? And SWMBO agreed.

But first, we need a pergola to cover it, so I built one, then painted it, then realised the rest of the house didn't match, so painted the gutters and trim all over the house to match the pergola. During this process, I notice it's a pain to empty all the tools out of the shed to make room to do any work, so I built another shed to store stuff and now the shop *is mine* (and shopdogs).

Now, before the deck goes in, the yard has to be levelled to achieve the right height for the steps. Do you know how many shovels it takes to manually move 8 yards of earth - but I digress. So, the clothesline is in the way, and SWMBO *must* have a clothesline. The clothesline is temporarily installed under the pergola (ok, ok, the deck is going there - just don't ask). Before the yard is levelled a retaining wall must be built, but first the sprinklers have to go in - did I mention the sprinklers?

They need a trench, so, trench no 1 is dug to install lines for sprinklers - 25 yards x 22" by hand. Half way through trench Groggy thinks "this is bullsh*t", unfortunately - it was thought out loud. SWMBO says "Stop now and you're a dead man!" Newly invigorated - work continued. Finally, time for the all brick retaining wall, and Groggy actually gets it right the second time around. Move dirt from Pile-A back to the backyard. Somehow, there is less dirt than before, dunno how, just thanked the Lord there was less this time. What's that? You want a footpath to the clothesline? You never had one before and <notices the="" look=""> - Oh, yes dear, how wide?

In goes the path. Time to pull up all the pavers because they are now at the wrong height and don't match the back yard levels. So, pavers-up and move them - this was a very heavy pile of square rocks, of course, now the pavers are up I can put in the drain I've *so* wanted outside the shop. So! Up comes the tundra and in goes the drain - more digging.

By now my shoulder has given in, and I have to swing the pick with my left arm but, the drain is in! In the process I found the electrical feed to the shop - hmmm <thinks>. In goes another 20 yard ditch to upgrade the shop feed from 15 amp to 30. By now the yard looks like the gopher scene from
Caddyshack and the wife is having a calf, the dog doesn't trust me any more and I notice there is no drain under the tap - oh no! - 25 yards to the stormwater - bugger!

Off I go again! Whilst I am digging the drain I notice that the lawn outside doesn't get any water and there is another feed available on the tap - hmm, another 10 yards - and through the backyard of death plowed Groggy.

So, that's where I am now. Winter is coming and the backyard from hell lies before me. The wife has packed the bags for the kids and herself and all I can think of to mutter is "but Darling, I built you a clothesline outta the rain!!!" I think the dog got buried, but I occasionally hope she just ran away and may reappear one day. People cruise past just to look, like I had Christmas
lights up or something, and if the dirt flies higher than the fence, they cheer. Anyway, the really hard work is done and shortly it will all go back together and I can build the deck.

Did I mention I rewired the shop somewhere between the drains and retaining walls and the new power feed trench? And did I mention that the roof was repainted and the tiles replaced because some were cracked when the pergola went up? No?

Next year I want to do some small changes to the front yard.</thinks></notices>

13th Nov 2007, 08:33 PM
Nice read Groggy and I reckon there might be something in this for all uf us. I read in one of Scott Camms books that if you and the missus work together on no matter how big of a project he reckons its sure to end in a stoush. I think its easier to say yes dear and do the best that you can.

13th Nov 2007, 09:06 PM
That's a fantastic story.

The first house we bought I let her swing the first sledge blow into the wall I was demoing, then sent her to Australia for two months the next day.

13th Nov 2007, 09:19 PM
That's a fantastic story.You say that like I made it up :no: .

I wish I had Eli, I wish I had. 18 months it took. I have a pic of the missus with a plastic bag over her head in the rain, cleaning pavers. The look on her face is promising murder. Unfortunately, if I posted the pic she'd honour that promise :- .

13th Nov 2007, 09:57 PM
Oh no, you got me wrong. I am actually totally convinced of it's authenticity. The pain of the truth is definitely all over it. I meant the use of the word innocently....

story1 (str'?, st?r'?)
n., pl. -ries.
An account or recital of an event or a series of events
An account or report regarding the facts of an event or group of events: The plot of a narrative work.
A news article or broadcast.
Romantic legend or tradition: a hero known to us in story.

13th Nov 2007, 10:14 PM
Oh no, you got me wrong. I am actually totally convinced of it's authenticity. ....Daft bugger, I wuz pulling your leg. :doh:

Does this help:

"You say that like I made it up :no: . :wink::D:D:D:D:D"

:U You'll have to do a double shift next year mate, :wink: .

14th Nov 2007, 07:45 AM

I don't know if I can handle a double shift. Watching that dog was exhausting.

18th Dec 2007, 01:41 PM
Hi Groggy

Loved story and I understand the pain,

May I digress i little ( another story )
the other day ( about 8weeks ago ) dropped into Mum's, the telly in the bedroom doesn't work, ohh I will have a look ( silly me ). Well got the telly off the wall brkt and took it to the kitchen, oh the telly works, strange, oh well there goes the idea for a xmas present... mmm lets have a look an the power point... seam to have no power... i will come back at the weekend and have a look......

Did I tell you just have a month off redoing our kitchen, new benches and cupboards, sink etc.... all so one could have a dishwasher, but the other half is very happy, but that was another story...

Arrive at weekend, pull fuse out,, put power point out,, strange no earth wire ( this is bad ) also strange pippyback plug with wire disappearing under house, from the power point..... hmmm where does this go.... dad bless him... did some stuff to keep mum happy....

Turned fuse on, hmmmm no power, oh and no power in and laundry at the back on the house as well... ( didn't like the sound of this )

Then start tracing the whole circuit, hmmm couldn't find the feed from the switch board... all the power run under the house... did i say a hate working under the house... dad use it as a storage area from some 30+ years.... one day i will clean it out....

The last power point i pulled out was it an very old looking black wire heading up to the ceiling... so up to the ceiling.....

Found it after a lot of looking.. shock was all i could think off 1926 wiring:o

So some phone calls, a friend ( sparkie from work ) help!!!
really busy he can come next weekend.... OK please run wires for him

So back under the house, running new cable... then back into the laundry... can remember years ago helping dad, there was a junction box in the wall, where old wiring met new wiring,.... the wall in behind a cupboard and washing machine.... go to put cupboard out..... no way it was part of the wall.... (seamed like a good idea at the time )..... empty cupboard.. hole one wires good.. all new bad.....
Fourth hole bingo... found it.. strange too old wires joining to new wire
ran new cable, back to switch board....( in middle of house )..

Couldn't get wire up inside wall, some conduit saved the day.....

Friend ( sparkie ) arrives, very happy with me running all the cables..

Start work, we will just cut the old cables off the laundry as dont know where they go... sounds good.....

Friend pulls Switch board out, mmmmm three netuals are loose on the bus bar... that was problem... oh well... remove the old cable from the circuit would be a good idea...

Wire in new cable all happy.........

Next day need to rewire two power points, back under the house.....
very fiddly but got it done... mum was happy

Drop into mum during the week... the outside light doesn't work....
Oh :~.....That strange wire in the laundry wall we cut off.

Next weekend rewire the outside light..... bu**er of job.....

Did I say the the plug which pluged into the powerpoint in from bedroom telly went... the lights in the celler.....Dad and his wiring... pulled out the old fluro's ( dated 1964 ), put new one in from bunnings.... and finally some timber work from mounting them and painting...

Well but the end on day all was back to normal.....mum was happy
I have now just spend 4 weekends working at mum's.. all becasue the telly didn't work.......

Well the moral... work at home is never done.....
Did I said i wanted to build a new coffee table.... rebuild mum crystal cabinet.... do some work on the car... extend the notice boards in our gym room..... do paint outside at mum's........relax...

Cheers Don go on holidays at Xmas... no workshop.. no fixing anything

27th Dec 2007, 06:01 PM
Hi Groggy

May I digress i little ( another story )
Cheers Don go on holidays at Xmas... no workshop.. no fixing anything
I think we're related...