All hands on deck

The new deck seems larger than the old one. Perhaps it’s the wider boards. Or the lack of clutter. I finished painting the new rails and step edge today. The new step down to the lawn makes all the difference for access from house to garden.

The old deck was rotting and unsteady. The landscaper removed the old boards and we could see why. There was hardly any bracing underneath.

My nephew, a builder’s apprentice, spotted the issues immediately and the family rallied. He and his dad got to work and put in many bolts, new bracing, and concrete piles. Others in the family collected supplies and laboured. I removed all the mint spreading underneath, and wisteria which had wound its way towards the house. I dug out a lot of dirt and repainted the lower weatherboards and the deck edge.

The chooks inspected the work.

This was the chooks’ last chance to be on the deck, as I decided they must keep off it and they needed to be out of the way while the work on the deck was being done. I extended their run and they now have a large area with plenty of shade and shelter and even access to the garden shed. They seem to be getting used to it and they still get all the usual treats! I am no longer on constant ‘chicken-poo patrol’ cleaning up the deck and lawn.

The deck installers, two young Yorkshire men, took twelve hours to complete the deck with ‘the boss’ helping with the final push at the end.

I supplied fresh rhubarb muffins and homemade elderflower cordial (“That’s well good,” said one) and, later, cheese and crackers and ginger beer. I was worried about them working so long in one day, but they seemed to take it in their stride.

The new deck is as steady as a rock and, with no chooks on board, it is a pleasant place to sit outside.

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