Monday, December 31, 2012

DH's BIG Project: Part One of Two

I have blogged before about the gravel pit we live in and after almost three years of living here (three on the 15th of January!) we are still in the pits. However, we are slowly pulling it together.

I have found it much easier to work and develop properties that someone else has already had a hand in such as our houses in Kanata and Middleton. As our current home is a new build, it came barely landscaped (that means only grass on the front lawn) and there is something very exciting and alarming at knowing you are the ones to come up with the plans for something that will (hopefully) develop into a lush and established garden.

DH is a very handy man and has found it difficult that he has not been able to devote a lot of time to our backyard since we've moved in. He has been working on this particular project over a couple of years. To be fair to him, his work schedule has not permitted a lot of down time or at home time. When he is home, we try to spend time together as a family or visiting with family and friends which means that this type of project tends to take the back burner.

This past summer, DH took a whole MONTH of holidays. Two weeks we spent camping and two weeks were spent working on our backyard.

The very beginning of the project from two and a half years ago.
We wanted a large at grade level deck (I cannot believe how much
the boys have grown since this picture was taken). 
DH dug this down himself. Later in the summer, he enlisted the
help of a mini excavator. 
One advantage of taking a long time to complete a project is that it gives
you time to review your design process. Case in point: the original concrete
pillar plan was not going to work. DH had inadvertently made a
wading pool... 
It did provide hours of entertainment for the big boys though.
Time to get serious. Let's get rid of that hole (an exciting day for Iain and Aidan!). 
We kept the boys safely inside while this was going on. And, no,
that isn't the previous years Christmas wreath drying on the table
right in front of you. Why do you ask?
The boys levelling the newly slung gravel. 
Love that Iain was so excited to help that he is out in his rubber boots
and pyjamas!
Exciting times. DH starts on the framing.

Our deck was a bit like a barn raising. Help was enlisted from
as far away as British Columbia as well as Newfoundland
and Labrador. 
I am really hoping the boys have fond memories of this. They
love going outside to help Daddy.
Exterior decking frame done.
Mitred corners. Gorgeous. And you think I'm the perfectionist in this house???

Good Newfoundland and Labrador assistance.  
Almost done!
Complete! Aidan told everyone for the first little while that it was our
'party deck'. It is huge. Someday we hope to have a nice wicker-ish
sectional sofa set for this blank end. A dining set that isn't mostly rust
would be nice too...
The upper deck will become the grill deck. DH is going to take out the
bannister section that you can see here and extend the stairs to the
whole width that you see here. The treads will also be widened so that
the transition from stairs to deck will be seamless.
Although it is more difficult to see the sea view from this deck, the sunsets
will be amazing.
Part two is coming. Promise.

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