As I mentioned earlier this week Andy and I decided the first project we had to do on the house was to replace the deck which leads into our kitchen, and is on the opposite side of our addition we’re starting soon. We were going to have to replace it anyway down the line, and we really needed a reliable safe way to enter the house during renovations so this was the perfect place to start (you can find a post on the background of the deck we’re replacing here). I decided this second post would be about the actual materials we’re using. As a reminder, this is the basic design of the deck (this is only one panel, not the entire side of the deck, imagine this repeated).
When I went downstairs yesterday, Andy was ripping the cedar balusters on the table saw. We originally were going to do wide balusters but nixed them, and I’m happy we did. This is going to look a lot better. After he ripped them to size, he put these side by side so you could get a rough visual of what the balusters will actually look like laid out.
- Balusters & Posts: Cedar
- Decking: Synthetic
- Rails: Mahogany
While we bought the joist material for the deck, Andy’s thriftyness means we already have all of the cedar, mahogany and decking here at the house.
The cedar is from someone who knew Andy’s family. The guy hauled it out of Greenville and then sawed it into boards. They were kept in the upstairs of Andy’s mom’s garage for years; when the house was sold the cedar was among some of the wood Andy decided to take. Cedar is pretty awesome for decking. It’s rot resistant, bug resistant and it smells awesome so I’m pretty happy with the wood choice. I’m really happy with the price. Free.
As for the mahogany—it makes me laugh a little that we’re going to have rich mahogany railings on our deck. Mahogany is not cheap and it sounds so extravagant, and like something Ron Burgundy would do.
In reality, we would never buy wide mahogany railings for a deck. That kind of cash just doesn’t exist in this house. However, you know we didn’t buy it. The wide mahogany railings came from a house being torn down Andy was working on, and he salvaged it. They are dusty but they are really beautiful in person, and they are going to look amazing once refinished. I understand the look might not be for everyone, but we both love the craftsman style so it’s right up our alley.
As far as decking, which I don’t have a photo of, it was given to us by a friend of a family. I was actually there for that one. We loaded it up while the sky couldn’t decide between pouring rain, clapping thunder, or bright blue skies. One second we’re dry, the next we’re soaking wet, the next we’re standing in the garage for cover, and the next it’s blue skies again. I can attest that synthetic decking can hold up to bad weather. I need no further convincing.
Now that all of the materials have been covered, the next decking post will hopefully be the actual removal and building of our new deck. I’m hoping to get a video of the removal; since it’s a free floating deck you know it’s going to include our Mahindra—and anytime you can remove an entire section of your house with a tractor it’s worth video taping.