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The weekend before last I started to rip the railing off our deck. It was bulky and the paint was peeling off so it looked terrible. Of course, as with anything with this house it wasn't easy to demolish. The previous owner lag bolted it, nailed it, and screwed it down. Lag bolts came out fine but the screws he used weren't even for outside use, they were regular drywall screws, so you can imagine that they were completely rusted. I had to rip the railing out with my bare hands and brute force every last bit. One railing was eighteen feet long. I cut it down so the city will pick it up for our annual spring clean up but it was so beefed up and the circular saw wasn't cutting it all the way through. So I stood in the middle of the railing and picked it up and shook it hopping it would snap, it did not. I thought that maybe if I threw it on the ground it would break, and so I did. But, the brilliant Norwegian I 'am didn't think of the cross piece that was directly behind my legs. As I threw it down the one-by-4 cross piece hit the back of my calves and down I went with the railing. I have bruises all down both calves. Of course were I ripped the railing off some of the decking broke. I went to Menard's and got three replacement planks and replaced them. Mary came home and liked the look of the deck without the railing and seeing the new boards down thought that it would sure be nice to have the whole deck like that, I agreed. Plus I had thought of that earlier. So Sunday was spent ripping out the other deck boards. And as you may have guessed, all the decking was screwed down with completely rusted drywall screws! I, again, with brute force had to snap and break just about every 35 boards off the joists. Longer story short, by the time I was done and laid down on the coach in the early evening I became very ill. I don't think I can remember a time that I was that exhausted and painful. This past weekend I finished installing the new decking, screwing it down with triple coated deck screws and cutting of the overhangs, sanding the cut pieces and the printed brand name off the surfaces of some. It sure will be nice not to see chipped paint all the time. I will allow the treated wood to dry out until next summer and then seal it for even longer life. Next up is to put up a fence so the dogs can run around freely in safety. I hope that it will go smoother. All we are really going to do is take the chain-link fence that is already there and extend it to the house in the front and the garage in the back to close it in. Here's hopping it will all go well.

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johnsg_1

December 2010

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