Monday, April 20, 2015

Patio Progress

The last two weeks have been... how best to describe it? The best word I can come up with is "blech." River got sick about two and a half weeks ago, and at first I thought I'd gotten it as well, but my symptoms turned out to be the result of some cross-contamination issues. The symptoms weren't horrible (we're talking about a tiny amount of cross-contamination in a container of cumin), but they were uncomfortable and disrupted my sleep for several days before I recognized what was going on. The insomnia is what made me take a closer look at what was going on- insomnia has been an issue on the majority of the occasions I've gotten glutened (along with other issues, of course).

I didn't have River's cold, but my immune system was weakened, and I was sick within a week. My symptoms have stuck around a lot longer than usual, so I think my body is having a hard time fighting it off. Regardless, I've spent most of the last two weeks feeling less than up to par. I only managed a few hours of work on the patio the week before last and only about an hour last week, and I didn't manage any treadmill time at all. My physical energy levels have just been too low, though mentally I've been champing at the bit, wanting to get moving and be active again.


It's also been raining a lot the last few weeks, so even on the occasions that I did have the energy to work on the patio, it was frequently too wet for me to do anything. I did manage an hour or so on Friday the week before last in between rain showers, and Saturday was a gorgeous day, so I actually managed a solid 4-5 hours of work.

Friday I got the small section of joists in before River lost it and needed to go inside, which ended up coinciding with another rain shower, so it all worked out. He loves being outside, but he still wasn't feeling well and needed to lay down for a nap.

You can't see his face, but River was not happy. 
You can see the small section where I got the joists hung before the meltdown.

Saturday I got most of the rest of the joists cut and installed. I miscalculated on how many I needed- the whole "on center" thing needed to include my framework, which made everything a bit wider than I had originally calculated. Something I'll keep in mind for future builds to make sure I don't end up with an extra joist spaced close to another.

I had two 3' pieces of 2x6 in the shed that I used for the shorter section close to the house, but I had to buy a 12' board to cut the last two longer joists I needed. I also needed to buy more joist hangers- I ran short since I hadn't counted on two additional joists. And I also ran out of nails, so between the three items at least it wasn't a wasted trip to Lowe's.

The two boards resting on top are cut to length, but I ran out of joist hangers.
I needed two more 6' boards in that section.

While I was working, I attached the last two uprights for the pergola to the patio frame, then attached scrap wood near the tops for added stability. When I add all the upper pieces to the pergola I'll adjust all the uprights so they're as upright and straight as possible. For now I just want them to stay in place and not wobble around.

Pergola supports up.

The joists took longer than I thought they would/should. They're not difficult to cut and install, they're just tedious and time consuming. Measure, cut, attach joist hangers, nail each joist in the frame, repeat. and repeat. and repeat....

I also added some 4x4 posts between the house foundation and the patio frame. The space was just a bit wider than I felt would be a good support for the decking. I couldn't get the frame any closer to the foundation though because of the deck blocks, which left an awkwardly wide space. If I'd thought about it ahead of time, I could have attached an extra 2x6 to the frame, but I would have had to do it way back when I was attaching all the frame pieces to each other. Since I didn't think about it until the frame was all firmly attached to each other, that wasn't an option. The 4x4 posts rest on the deck blocks, with small 2x6 spacers to bring the posts up to the frame height.

You can see the 4x4s between the foundation and the patio frame.

That was Saturday afternoon and Monday morning River's cold had hit me and I was not feeling good. After a week spent on the couch and my bed, I couldn't handle the inactivity anymore and it was bugging me that the joists were almost, but not quite, done. So despite not feeling good, I forced myself to go out this past Saturday afternoon to finish hanging the joists and adding the nails that I'd had to skip when I initially attached the joists to the frame. After hanging half of them I had realized I wasn't going to have enough nails so I'd used the bare minimum to hold everything in place so I could get as many joists hung as possible. It took less than an hour to finish off the joists and add the nails, which was good since that was as much as I could handle physically. It was nice to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine though.

Last four joists hung and all missing nails added in.

I had hoped to square off the frame this past week, but that will be the first thing I do this week. I was not quite as successful as I wanted to be in keeping the patio square- it's harder than it looks! Since I also want to bring the frame width out to the edges of the deck blocks, I'll kill two birds with one stone.

At this point we're all feeling better (Sunshine got the bug too, but not nearly as badly as River and me), but have lingering coughs that still don't feel good. I'm hopeful that this week I'll feel well enough to spend some time on the treadmill and to make more progress on the patio. Now if the weather will just cooperate also...

No comments:

Post a Comment