Building "off-grid"

- Decks -
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July thru October 2007:  My very first time-sensitive goal since I started this project is to have the end walls completed and sealed before winter.  Since I'll have to be at floor level in order to install the doors and windows, I decided to build the decks.  I was going to build them eventually anyway, so why not now?  Using scaffolding to get up there would be precarious at best, considering the earth berm angle and soil consistency, so building the decks was a much better idea.  I figured this would be a pretty easy, quick, straight-forward project, compared to some of the others.  HAH! Was I WRONG!  If it wasn't the weather fighting me (it rained constantly this summer), it was getting stiffed by contractors or simply misjudging different aspects of the job.  For some perspective, I built two [identical] decks, one off each end of the building.  They run the width of the house (32') and stick out from the 16', which makes for some pretty big lumber to throw around.

Cost:  I used all green pressure-treated lumber for this project:  2x12 ledger board, 2x10 joist and facia boards, 5/4 decking boards, and 5x6 support beams.  Then there was hardward (screws and hangers) and concrete footings and related labor.  Ballpark estimate of the cost so far would be about $3000.

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