rental backyard: new old deck (part 3)

new deck from old wood, side view (iPhone photo)

After he'd set and leveled the pier blocks into place, he built a frame out of used two-by-sixes and then framed in a set of pallets, which looked something like a big waffle. Then he screwed on top of the frame long pieces of old reclaimed one-by-four-inch barn wood about eight-feet long, overlapped in the middle. Towards the end, he ran out of wood in that size and had to mill down some of the wider pieces, as well as cutting to size the fascia (facing or edging) boards.

reclaimed-wood deck built on secondhand shipping pallets & used pier blocks (iPhone photo)

These iPhone photos are the cleanest shots of the deck, right after sweeping, because soon after, the deck looked more like this:

discounted hostas & sale ferns awaiting planting

new deck platform

new old deck

According to Jeff, he was building the deck for little-ol'-cancer-patient me as a place to relax and heal. But by the time he placed his three (!) grills on one end and his round vintage metal-and-glass dining table set on the other, there was going to be no room for me on the deck. We actually fought for a couple of days over this, with him huffing that what I really wanted was "a yoga studio"—and he wasn't far off. I'm an introvert, so for me the best, most frequented use of the deck would mean a couple of comfortable lounge chairs for reading and a long hammock tied between the tree and the house, with his grills sitting off over by the fence out of sight the way.

hand-built deck

next year's potted Christmas tree

But I know my extroverted friend is happiest when he's cooking for friends and family. So I convinced him instead to build a big long table and benches out of the extra deck wood, which will be able to fit maybe 16 people versus just four at the standard round metal table. And we could host even more because we'll put the metal dining set over in the shady corner, maybe as a kids' table. Personally, I prefer the look of a long homey wooden picnic table to a cold metal dining set, which is why I lobbied so hard for it; plus, it can also serve double-duty as a project or work table. The grills will indeed go over by the fence but on a raised platform or a brick or paving-stone surface, along with some kind of prep table. There should still be room on the deck for a reading chair and maybe a hammock off the deck over by the tree. And that, my dears, is what compromise looks like.

(Next up: the new table and some stairs . . .)

Missed the earlier posts in the Rental Backyard series documenting our backyard fix-up? Check out . . .
Part 1: The Tangled Mess
Part 2: Down to Dirt

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