HandyMan and I have been dreaming of renovating the deck all summer. Maybe it was romantic visions of making french toast topped with strawberries in our new kitchen and enjoying it out on our deck that got us eager to jump on this one. Funny, but with the kitchen reno lingering, and the days of summer dwindling, I never really thought we'd get started on the deck anytime soon. Boy, was I wrong.
It all started with a little plan to take our deck from drab to fab. We knew we wanted to build a banquette and Handyman asked me to figure out what size I wanted it. A few quick measurements and a rough drawing later, we had the dimensions to build an L-shaped banquette. It would be 24 inches deep, 16 inches high (without the cushions), with one side 8 feet long, and the other 40 inches. We'd put a piano hinge on the top so (theoretically) we could use the benches for storage. Wouldn't you know it, Home Depot was open late so we made the trip and came home with a truckload of wood. I'll admit - figuring out how many sheets of plywood or planks or 2x4s was totally HandyMan's domain. Things like making the long bench 8' so you can use a single 2x4x8, or make the bench 16" high so you can face it in plywood (which conveniently is 4'x8' and can be cut into 16" strips). Yeah, I sooo didn't think of any of that!
We started early today and did rough framing for the boxes ("rough" as in let's say the boxes aren't perfectly square ;) ). Next step was to affix 1/4" plywood to the face of the boxes. Then we applied some 4" wood strips around the edges. This would tie in the look of the benches with the shaker cabinets in the kitchen. Finally, we made the tops out of two wood planks, a couple of piano hinges, lots of construction glue, and myriad calculations for the overhang. Turns out, we needed to brace the top more than we thought so actually using the benches for storage may not be possible. HandyMan - being an architect - worked on the smaller details like leaving room for decorative trim, and rounding all the edges with a sander. Eight hours later, we have the sweet beginnings of our deck.
We still have to do the major demo (removing the existing slats and latticework) and rework (straightening and fattening the posts, changing the railing, installing beadboard ceiling, painting the floors, railings, ceiling, and benches), but its a start. Not bad for our first piece of DIY furniture ever. Hopefully, we'll get it all done before the summer end :o)
Update: To see how the porch is looking today, click on over to read about painting the porch and our final back porch makeover reveal.