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A Post about Posts

2012 September 20
by Katie

I didn’t forget.  Almost.  but not completely.  This post has been just waiting to be unleashed.  Be warned, it’s mostly me taking photos of my beefy husband and his wood.  Wood for the deck.  This is getting weird. 

So after you fish your brain outta the gutter, let’s recap what the underside of the deck looks like.  It has four giant posts roughly 12 feet tall.  Yes, they are plain but functional. 

Well, when Jer and I started talking about the posts, I thought it would be a good idea to add a little architectural interest.  I wanted to add slanted wood to make it look like a ‘Y’ on each post.  I thought it would beef up the posts to give them a little more girth.  I also wanted to add a couple more long posts near the house to finish off the patio area. 

Here is where the posts would go… 


Jer said it would be no problem on the side with the rose bushes (the one pictured above on the right)….but there was one little issue.  On the left hand side post, there is a light switch in the way.  We went back and forth about the pros and cons of keeping/removing/covering the switch (it controls that very-necessary light above the window)…and in the end, we decided to keep it.  

So anyhoo….we picked up some 4x6x12 posts at Lowe’s. 

And Jer used a drill and a jigsaw to notch out the hole for the light switch. 

We decided that the best way to get these totally-unfunctional-completely-decorative posts in place, it would be absolutely necessary to wedge them as tight as possible.  We didn’t want a certain beastly-toddler to knock into one and have it fall on top of him.  So Jer cut it a little long and used a sledgehammer to get it in.

After he got it straight (also with a sledgehammer), he secured it to the top deck wood bits with a  few screws. 

There she blows. 

(yeah…I’m having a piratey kinda day)

And yes, we can still get our hand in there and open the door to use the light to illuminate a weird little spot near the spigot….for all our late night watering needs (?).

After Jer got the posts figured out, he started working on the Y’s.  He used a scrap board to measure exactly how long each piece would need to be.  With such tall posts, it is hard to get a bearing on what would look right…so using scraps always helps us because our eyes can trust what would look right than a drawing. 

The other side of this post posed a big issue.  Those diagonal pieces got in the way.  We were nervous at first to remove them (were they holding up the entire deck?  would the house collapse?  would the anti-christ be born if we took them off?)…but we learned that they were not required by code in our area.  We recommend always checking that kind of thing first.  No point in risking Armageddon.

Here’s a better view of our diagonal pieces…

After we measured how long we needed for each arm of the “Y”, we simply multiplied that by 10 for all our posts.

After cutting his arms (that sounds gross), he predrilled the holes about two inches from the end.  Using a rachet and a 5/16″ hex driver, he attached the hex screws.  We used TimberTite all-in-one wood fastener hex screws 1/4″ x 4″.     

Jer hates being on the ladder almost as much as I do, so he attached the screws on the ground and then didn’t have to fumble around while being up in the air.

My darling boytoy showing me how he used a clamp to steady the bottom of the arm in the right spot before doing any attaching.

Lined it up and drove that bad boy in.

Nine more arms and we were done.  And know through the power of the internet, here is the finished attached Ys.

Then came time to stain.  We had no idea what color the deck was (it’s like four different colors in different areas) so we just eyeballed it.

I did half of the staining….with Jeremy firmly planted below me holding my legs while I was on the ladder.  Yes, I would have worn a harness if I had one.  And yes, it would have been dripping with sweat.

The color was a pretty close match.  We used Cabot Exterior Preservative Wood Finish in Oak Brown.  It was just brushed on and allowed to dry so this is about as dark as one coat can get.

And now for some after photos…

Looks like it’s always been there, right?  Hopefully?

We still need to get a little door for the ‘hole’…but for now, we are gonna call this one officially done.

And that is how we added a little architectural interest to the deck. 

You’ve come a long way baby :)

43 Responses leave one →
  1. September 20, 2012

    Um.. Your house is gigantic! That looks a gazillion times better, great eye Katie!

  2. September 20, 2012

    That looks so much better! It’s amazing to me how the smallest difference can make such a big difference. Like crown molding, no one ever really notices crown molding….but they do notice how “finished” the room looks. Little finishing touches make all the difference.

    Great project Katie!

  3. Amanda S. permalink
    September 20, 2012

    I love it!! The “Ys” add so much! How did you come up with the idea?

  4. Brenda permalink
    September 20, 2012

    I never cease to be amazed at how sometimes it’s a little detail that totally swankifies a room or area.

  5. Rachel permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Ugh…We get it, you think your “boyfriend” is hot. You can stop the corny/crude jokes and the butt shots.

    • September 20, 2012

      Wow. I’m guessing an apology note with a photo of him bending over wont make things better? Feel free to skip the words and pictures if they don’t suit you…I’m sure my mother in law does :)
      xo kb

      • September 20, 2012

        Well, just to balance things out here, I think it’s adorable that you’re still so flirty about your sweetie!

        • embee permalink
          September 20, 2012

          haters gotta hate, lol. i think its cute.

    • September 20, 2012

      I think her comments about Jer are hilarious! Too bad all wives aren’t that excited about their husbands.

    • Addie permalink
      September 20, 2012

      Seriously Rachel, if you don’t like HER blog then don’t read it?! Hm, now there’s an idea!

      We love you Katie!

    • lea permalink
      September 20, 2012

      I’m so sorry, but yes, I have to agree with Rachel. Sorry to say:(

      And my friend who reads this blog also agrees with Rachel.:(

    • Meghan permalink
      September 21, 2012

      You probably don’t like baseball, hot dogs or “The Notebook” either ;)
      Speak for yourself! I will gladly look at pictures of your “boyfriends” tush as long as you’re willing to share!

    • patty permalink
      September 21, 2012

      i wouldn’t say i’m with Rachel… but on the other hand, when someone constantly talks about how hot their *boyfriend* husband is, it makes one think they’re trying to convince themselves… sorry katie… love your blog.. xo

      • September 21, 2012

        haha…it’s funny how everyone has their own opinion. I think it all comes back to the fact that I’m pregnant and my hormones are RAGING…in that certain way in particular. I can’t contain it. And yes, I say these things in front of him and my family…and yes, this blog isn’t perfect but it is very much ‘me’ :)
        xo – kb

  6. September 20, 2012

    Crazy how much more “finished” it looks with a little extra wood. I have deck envy… *swooooon*

  7. September 20, 2012

    This looks terrific! I’ve thought about doing something similar to achieve the post + beam ceiling look. I love old farm houses that have beams visible in the ceiling and random posts throughout the house (probably as load-bearing devices), but I think you can get that look in a new house with a few slats of wood.
    Way to go girl!

  8. September 20, 2012

    the Ys look awesome!
    as a flower lover, i wanted to give you a friendly reminder to water your pretty begonia :)
    (also, did you know you can bring it inside during the winter — and water it every now and then — and it’ll bloom again next summer. that way you don’t have to buy new plants every year!)

  9. September 20, 2012

    Jealous!!! You have an awesome outdoor covered space and seeing the yard and trees beyond makes me wanna roll around in the grass. Oops, that got weird. Sorry. It’s the perfect place to throw a party…wanna host my daughter’s 1st birthday party? I promise we would share the cake!

  10. September 20, 2012

    Haha you’re just one day off on the pirate talk! Yesterday was National Talk Like A Pirate Day. My husband is so glad yesterday is over.

    LOVE the changes to the deck btw. I am totally tempted to do this to our raised deck.

  11. September 20, 2012

    Love this idea! I don’t think it looked bad before – but now it looks AWESOME :)

  12. Jeanie permalink
    September 20, 2012

    It all looks amazing from when you bought the house! Great job to both of you! Nice when “small” things can make such a big difference and it doesn’t always have to be the big things (like your kitchen project).

    Great job, Bowers!

  13. AviLynn permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Can I just move into your house? I drool over it every time, the space & land is insane!!! My 4 boys would die there. We built a new house in a subdivision a couple years ago & now I’ve realized I’m claustrophobic here or something. Lol

  14. Felicita permalink
    September 20, 2012

    Your house is gorgeous and huge!! Wow! Love the changes.

    (and I don’t mind your hubby’s booty shots… hee hee… kidding, kidding).

  15. September 20, 2012

    Wow Rachel you are hilarious.. nice joke!! I vote for more photos of the hot boyfriend please!!
    Katie can I be nosy and ask what is at the top left of your house at the back and doesn’t have any windows?

    • September 20, 2012

      There is Jeremy’s closet…and then the bathroom…not that I would mind being able to see inside those from outside :)
      xo – kb

      • September 20, 2012

        Bahaha, best response ever, KB! (And yay for Maz and everyone else disagreeing with Rachel. The flirtiness/jokes are cute!)

  16. September 20, 2012

    I’m always so jealous of your home and I’m especially jealous of your backyard. Where I live right now, that kind of space is hard to find if you’re not raking in the millions.

    BTW, you’re just one day late for feeling piratey. Yesterday was Talk Like A Pirate Day!

  17. September 20, 2012

    It definitely adds a lot and I love the hanging flowers, though they would die in about one week at my house :)

  18. Jayne permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Hey it’s YOUR blog, YOUR thoughts, YOUR man, so keep the boyfriend comments as I love them!!

    And the difference between these before and after pics are amazing, you should be proud of yourselves…but please stay off that ladder! lol xxx

  19. September 21, 2012

    Your extra little details look great! We have those y-thingies on our deck, and the birds love to build nests in them. Gives hubby a mental workout trying to figure out ways to discourage them. Not that we mind baby birdies- the poop, not so much. ;)

  20. Darbi permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Trying to decide if I’m with the majority or minority when I wished that shot of Jeremy all sweaty and bending over was shot from the backside instead of front! LOL! Not that I lust after your husband, but he does have a nice rear-end. My boyfriend has the flattest backside ever so I live vicariously through you.
    I do like the Ys you added. It definitely makes the deck look more complete and they look like they were always there. You need some color under that deck though! I vote for painting those benches a fun cheery color. Too much brown! :)

    • September 21, 2012

      Oh yes, the plan has always been to paint them red…just waiting for the weather to cool off! I am still sweating!
      xo – kb

      • Darbi permalink
        September 27, 2012

        Yay! I like red! And Mama, you need to just lay inside with the air conditioning blasting as hot as it has been lately. I’m just 30 mins south of Atlanta so I know how it is! Teach Will to bring you cups of ice. :)

  21. September 21, 2012

    Great tip about using a clamp to hold the bottom end of the arm in place. (by the way you have ‘know’ instead of ‘now’ in one sentence near the end – just after ‘nine more arms’)

  22. September 21, 2012

    Love it! It’s amazing what little changes make such a big difference!

  23. Karyl permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Love the extra touches to the deck and the running commentary on your boyfriend’s tush! I was thinking that you could cut a piece of 1×4 wood ( stained to match the faux beam) and put a hinge on it to conceal the open hole where the light switch is. Also what do think about boxing out the lower portion of your posts, say about 40″ or so high from the ground, and adding stone veneer perhaps to give them a little more bulk?

  24. Crystal permalink
    September 21, 2012

    Love the “y’s” love the deck, love the house, love the blog! I am so glad you stay true to yourself and don’t change your blog because of rude comments. You can’t please everyone so you might as well be yourself.

  25. September 23, 2012

    Hey Girlie! I LOVE your blog and all of your humor. There are days tears well up in my eyes because I’m laughing so hard at how you phrase things! Anywho…I just turned my instagram photos into refrigerator magnets using sticky gram. Not sure if you have heard of it but I love that I get to see all those cute pics of my kids every time I open the fridge. Keep up the awesome blog. This Wisconsin girl loves it!!

  26. September 25, 2012

    Everyone’s a critic, eh? The old “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” comes to mind :)
    Keep on keeping on KB, you’ve always kept it real like this and we love it!!

  27. Nancy permalink
    September 30, 2012

    The additions look great. We had virtually the same deck, just as big, but had to re-do the entire thing when the carpenter bees took over. (They look like bumble bees but if they’re disappearing under the railings look for a hole.) ANYWAY, although I didn’t like the cost of the replacement I WAS very happy to never again have to stain/seal those 2 x 2s. Have you done it? Have you found a good method?

    • October 1, 2012

      We haven’t done it yet but it’s on the to-do list.
      xo – kb

  28. November 15, 2012

    The knee braces were a nice touch. You have done a good job with the landscaping too since that “before” picture.

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