It seems like I've been working on decks for the better part of the past twenty years. I certainly invested at least a few man-years working on the decks of Nine of Cups. First there was repairing and reworking the original teak planking, then the big project was to remove the teak, repair a number of bad spots, then fill, fair and paint. That was followed by numerous repairs made over the last few years, and finally, I spent months fixing what I hope were the last of the deck issues, then fairing and repainting once again. When we sold Cups, I was confident that her decks were in great shape and that my days of working on decks were over.
Not so. When we bought our Las Vegas house, it came with an old, leaking spa/hot tub which we removed, leaving an even uglier, barren cement pad. After wincing every time we looked at it during the past two years, we all finally agreed on a deck plan, and my brother Paul and I set to work. Although the deck in our backyard was certainly different than those on Cups, it would seem that my days of working on decks weren't quite over.
For the most part, the project went smoothly. The biggest issue was choosing the paint and stain colors, which was the cause of the only major argument. We all had our opinions, and we now have samples of most of the colors available. A part of the family loves the final color selections, another part is okay with them and one of us is quietly grumbling about, but resigned to what was chosen.
Like most of my projects, I made my best guess as to the time it would take to complete it, then doubled the number. Paul laughed at my estimate, and doubled it again, which Marcie then tripled, based on past experience with most of my projects. As usual, Marcie's estimate came in the closest. I am pretty sure the major reason for this was the gazillion interruptions that kept cropping up, like doctors' appointments, birthday parties, etc. Then there was the project creep as we kept thinking how much better it would look if we only added this or that new embellishment. An unbiased observer might also suggest that one reason for the length of time it took us had to do with the fact that Paul and I are now old men who can't work as long, as hard or as fast as we once did. This is patently false – although I don't remember needing an afternoon nap when I was 35.
At any rate, except for a few minor things like new cushions, an umbrella or two, and some plants, it is finally complete. And, despite the disagreement on color selection, we are all quite happy with the results.
Next week, I'll be getting back to the upfit of Blue, who has been patiently hauling lumber and supplies for the deck project. Stay tuned.