Monday, September 16, 2013

Summertime doings

Peter and I don't always share interests or opinions, but we do spend a lot of time together. This past summer is a great example of how we can combine interests and still hang out. We were season ticket holders to the Batavia Muckdogs this past year. We spent a few nights a week at games, sometimes with friends and family, but usually we had a great time even if we were on the beer deck alone.

Batavia missed the playoffs by just a few games, and clinched their place outside of the playoffs by losing to the last place team.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The back deck

When we purchased our home, an early 1900s colonial, we knew it needed a lot of love. There were no structural issues but there were a lot of little things that were... off. The previous owners managed to kill plants which should survive a nuclear bomb, they didn't take care of the soil or lawn, they didn't maintain the woodwork inside or outside of the home, and we still find surprises. We're slowly working on those, and I think I'll post a few of the rooms and spaces we've worked on in the next little while, but this summer one of our focuses was our back deck.

The back deck's main purpose is to access the back yard, and until three weeks ago, for Daisy to lounge on.  My in-laws purchased a bunch of vinyl railings on Craigslist from someone who was re-doing their deck and they had some extra that they gave us (for free!). Peter and I took a day and did some deconstruction and then installed the vinyl railing. Once we did that, we started scrubbing the deck to prepare it to be sealed. The previous owners expanded the deck at some point, but didn't do it entirely correctly, and then never took care of the wood. Two summers ago I scrubbed the deck but we never had more than a few days without rain, which made it difficult to seal. Last summer was super hot, so I didn't do a lot outside.

But this year, this summer, I knew it had to be done. It was slimy and slippery when it rained and it was generally gross.

I scrubbed (with Dawn and hot water) the deck three times, Peter did it twice more, and then we sealed it. It now looks amazing.

We also found out not everything is square on this deck, which seems to be a running theme while we work around the house.

This is what the back yard looked like when we moved in. This and the next two photos were taken by my mother-in-law during the inspection. The weird fence thing is where we think the previous owners kept their dog, that was one of the first things we removed.

The back deck was only partially finished, as can be seen by the lattuce, and we have since replaced the second door (to the basement) that's on the ground. 

Another photo of the fine looking back yard, including the half-finished deck

 Here's the new railing

Doesn't it look like we actually have nice things? The one neighbor said it was like watching Better Homes & Gardens when we were putting it up. 

 This is the difference after the first scrubbing

Another picture after the first scrubbing. I was doing this as we were getting our electical system worked on.

This is what it looked like when it dried out. The red cord is/was Daisy's lead.

This is what it looks like now! It rained the night before this picture was taken, which is why there are still puddles on (not in!) the deck. 

The stairs cleaned up a bit better than the rest of the deck, but it ain't too shabby.

Here it is from a similar angle from one of "before" photos.

I added a garden a few years ago, this photo is from 2011. I don't have one from this year because someone (Daisy) trampled it chasing a squirrel. Maybe I'll get one next summer.

Now that it's all done, it feels so much bigger. We've put some chairs out so that if we're cooking or using the grill we can hang out on the deck. If you're wondering what happened to Daisy, you can read a little bit about the past few weeks on my other blog.