Matt and I were over at my sister's house last weekend when Lee, my brother in law, told Matt that he had gotten several estimates for repairing their deck. From a distance, the deck looks fine, but up close, it's covered in mold and cracked paint, loose and bowing planks, not to mention the rusted support posts underneath. When Matt heard what the estimates were, he was shocked-- mostly because these were not estimates for a new deck, they were just to patch and repair the deck (and it was still EXPENSIVE)! So the wheels in Matt's head started to turn... he told Lee that the two of them could build a new deck for much cheaper. Lee, eager to learn more about building/fixing things, loved the idea and enlisted the help of his two oldest boys, Jake and Ryan.
Tracy, on the other hand, was hesitant, thinking that Lee had pressured Matt into this "adventure." Though after the husbands convinced her they were equally excited about this, she jumped on board. Of course, both she and Lee were even more on board after Matt had typed up a complete estimate of materials from Home Depot... totaling less than half of the lowest estimate Lee received for repairing the deck.
The plan was for us to come over this weekend and set the footings for the support posts. So that's what we did.. and by "we," I mean Matt. I took pictures.
[starting to rot]
[rusted support posts]
[The first hole for the new footing has been drilled]
[Ryan is scooping the extra dirt out of the hole]
[second hole... Lee and Matt rented the hole digger thingy... worth every penny they said]
[all the way down]
[Jake's helping to hold the rebar so Matt can cut it down to size]
[Matt's brother, Mike, came over to help also...]
[Even Tracy jumped in to help guide the cement into the hole]
[Ryan got what Tracy couldn't]
[Ryan inserting the rebar]
[job well done]
[Mary Clare trying to lift the cement bag to help out...]
[she couldn't quite lift it]
[Lee's angry face as he dumps cement into the hole]
[Mike is explaining what "cement" is and how it works... Ryan is captivated... no, really, he is]
[Mary Clare enjoyed the rides in the wheel barrow!]
[the view from my chair...]
[Mary Clare adding water to the cement mix]
[Ryan starting the deck demolition]
[Jake's doing his part too]
[Mary Clare wants to know what Uncle Matt is doing]
Just before they got the last batch of cement mixed and poured for the fourth post, it started to rain... so Tracy and I, with Jake and Ryan's help, packed everything else up... Mike, Lee, and Matt finished the last footing, dried off, and came in side. Next weekend... build a deck.