Things have slowed down on the house build project for several reasons, not the least of which is a contractor issue. I won’t go into the details too much, but I hired a guy to stack the logs about 7 months ago, and a ton of cash later, I barely got a roughed-in basement and a floor. I think he bit off more than he could chew, and once things got to be too difficult, he ground to a halt. He would work for a day, and then take 17 days off. Then it was “my guys didn’t show up” and on and on. Next thing I know, it was the middle of November and my basement was full of snow because it did not get dried in. Now when I walk around in there, I slip and almost kill myself every time. That ice will stay there until March when it warms up enough to thaw. I haven’t found anything I can scrape it out with. The weather hasn’t helped, not to mention everything is just way more costly than you imagine when you are budgeting something like this.
So, I have a new guy starting in probably about a week and we are back on track, I think. In order to save some money, I am trying to build the deck portion myself–and by “myself” I mean I had a little help from a couple of my buddies to get the first several 13 feet long vertical log columns in place. They had to be notched out with a chainsaw and a hole drilled in the bottom to sit on the rebar supports and then lifted up an put there.
Once the first two were in place, they had to be plumbed and then double 2×10 horizontal rim pieces were put in the notches. Some of those spans are over 20 feet long, so it actually took me, my two friends and one teenager to get them going.
We got the layout of the joist hangers marked and then my buddies had to leave. But at least we got one joist in place and a bunch of bracing pieces up so it would be stable. I spent the next two days hanging the joists, and placing the boards down on the deck. THAT part I did by myself. Some of those joist spans are pretty long and I had to put one end into a hanger, then walk up the ladder with the joist in one hand and the nail gun in the other to tack them up. I dropped more than one in that process and one of them hit my ear/neck on the way down. That was fun in this cold weather.
Here are some pictures to show that progress.
This double joist was the most difficult part. These two are the longest hanging pieces, and there are two of them stacked together in a double hanger on one end, and lagged into the sill of the floor on the other. The red arrows point to the two of them.
In case its not obvious, the reason the logs are so long and protrude so far up is they will become the main supports for the railing.
A few people have asked why I have a single seam of deck boards coming together in one place instead of staggering them. Bottom line is, I don’t like the staggered look. I appears messy to me, and it has no structural value if you built the framing for the deck right. It looks like someone built a deck out of spare lumber of various lengths they had lying around.
At the point where I stopped today, this constitutes about 60% of the deck surface. I still to need to get my buddies out to put up the last three 13 footers. The other vertical logs around the right side of the house are much shorter, since the back fill slopes down over there. I can do those myself once I get to it.