Updated: Mar 19, 2020
We have officially owned Lindsay Station for a full week and we have made significant progress (which you would barely notice) in the yard. We both love working outside, especially now with the warm weather, and how small projects can make such a huge difference.
General Yard Work
We started by removing the massive shrub that was eating our wrap around porch. We literally left the attorney’s office and drove directly to Home Depot to buy the tools we needed. We piled the shrub on the side yard deck with a ton of other trimmings and had it all picked up by someone on craigslist (one of my favorite tricks.)
We later found out from a neighbor that a previous owner had beagles and if you intend to use them for hunting they should not be allowed to touch the ground. Hence the side yard deck. Super weird.
We then started taking down the boards covering the first floor and basement windows. These were installed just prior to closing by the seller. During fire inspection the Fire Department mandated the windows be covered given the risks. It was a minor inconvenience but now we have a ton of new plywood.
The rest of the first weekend was spent on general clean up. The house is on a busy intersection that collects a lot of trash. That combined with about a year or more of little maintenance left us with a job and a half.
The fence was very old and in pretty rough shape. It was also a bit too tall, and, purple. We knew we needed to remove it. The sections came down very easily and were broken down and piled. The posts on the other hand are impossible to remove. The footers are massive, and deep. We considered cutting the posts to the ground but would much prefer to remove them. We don’t want to run into any issues when putting a new fence in. Fun fact, we found out that our fence violated code in the 80s or 90s and the owner had to move the corner sections to not obstruct the sightline of drivers at the intersection. We will not make that mistake again.
On the back of the house there was a rotting deck. The deck was unsafe to walk on and had to go. We demoed the old deck, built a new temporary deck to serve as a construction stair, and at the same time created space for the dumpster. This will give you an idea of our starting point:
Here is the deck platform after some light demo:
We took measurements of existing deck platform and decided to copy what was there. The joists (which support the decking) had only about 1/2″ of rot on the top. In order to save some cash and time on this we salvaged them by simply flipping them over and using hangers (previously just nailed) for support. You can see Stephen removed everything back to the ledger (the piece that connects the deck to the house) and re-hung the flipped joists.
We cut new lumber for the rest of the structure and reused the old 4×4 posts which were technically in fine shape despite their appearance. Meanwhile the dogs got to hang out at the new house for the first time.
We then added a second board below the one you see in the photo in order to have enough surface area to attach the stairs. We used 4 pre-cut 6 step stringers and mounting brackets (forgot to take a photo of this step (pun))! We were lucky that the length was correct and made it to the ground without any modification. In order to make sure they were all the same we measured 7″ below the decking for the attachment point (rather than relying on un-even ground for measure.)
Lastly we disassembled the side yard deck and salvaged all of the deck boards. They were in fine shape for a construction stair and it saved us tons of money. The deck rebuild ran us about $100 excluding the tools we needed to replace.
We didn’t waste time removing screws from the decking. Instead we laid them across the joists and steps, attached them with new screws (after creating pilot holes of course), and cut off the excess in place.
We are pretty ecstatic about our finished product. Time to finish? 1 Day.
Here is a picture of our end of day clean up: