A Post about Posts
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