Decked Out

The day had finally arrived to have the Duradek put down. After a gruelling and hot weekend, I was looking forward to having an ice-cold beverage on my new deck. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for that day. The deck company came for about 15 minutes then got pulled away to an emergency job. They had planned to come back in the afternoon since it was only expected to take 3-4 hours to complete. But, the other job was more complicated than expected so they didn’t make it back on Monday.

Tuesday I had to go into the office, so I could only hope that by the time I was done work, the deck would be done. It was! And it looked beautiful. I was happy with the colour I had chosen and everything looked clean and well done. I was tempted to have that cold beverage on the deck without the railings but thought it should really wait until the deck was truly done. No celebrating early!

So instead of a drink, I grabbed a few cans of spray paint and started re-painting the railings. At first we had debated re-painting them, but they were worn so we decided to go ahead and refresh them. I of course didn’t plan it well and was short of spray paint, so halfway through I had to run to the store to grab a few more cans. In about 30 minutes, K and I managed to get both railing sections coated and repainted. Unfortunately for the dogs, they weren’t allowed outside by themselves while they dried. Ellie had such a fascination with them that we were worried she would come back in with stripes or a black tongue.

On Thursday afternoon, my mom and dad came over to get the newly painted railing back into place. It involved cutting some of the brand new Duradek, so dad had to show me how to do that and make sure it was properly resealed. He also brought over some sealant to ensure that we were keeping the deck watertight. The stuff is great, goes on clear and dries clear so at a glance it is not noticeable. I actually had to get on hands and knees the next day to double check my work, to make sure everything is sealed.

We started by putting all of the facia boards back into place. It of course, did not go back on perfectly, so I have a spot that I will need to add a bit of material to, in order to close up a small gaps. Not a problem though, I planned on repainting the facia so I can clean it all up when I am ready to paint it. The facia also hangs about a 1/4” below the edge due to the added board along the top, but we decided that it looks good so we left it instead of ripping it down to be flush.

We then raised the first half of the railing into the deck. I’m glad we had 3 of us. It was much heavier putting back up than taking down. Fighting gravity instead of using it. Anyway, we used a similar process where my mom and I raised the railing up like a ladder until the short side of the “L” shape was resting on the deck. My dad held it in place on the deck while my mom ran up to help lift it the rest of the way. Once she was up on the deck, I swung the bottom upwards while my mom balanced she short end and my dad grabbed the long end as I pushed it up. It worked out well.

We then put the first railing in place and marked where the legs would be going. Once marked, we swung the railing sideways to give my dad room to get the saw into place. We used a hacksaw and worked in tandem. My dad on the deck pulled up and from a ladder below, I pulled down. Made quick work. We then had to use a chisel to take out half of the 1”x2” board that they had used to square the edge for the drip plate. Then we globed a bunch of the sealant into the space we had just cut and flattened the Duradek into place for the railing to rest against. We then moved the railing back into place and bolted it to the wall. Dad and I then pre-drilled holes for the lag bolts. Once the holes were pre-drilled, we squeezed a bunch of sealant into the holes to stop water from getting in under the bolt, and drilled the bolt into place. There was a bit of cleanup needed as the sealant squeezed up and around the bolt.

We repeated the process with the other half of the railing and got it all bolted into place. That was when we finally decided it was time to celebrate on the newly finished deck. We pulled a few chairs out of the dining room since we hadn’t put our deck chairs back out yet, and had an ice-cold beverage while enjoying our view. K got home from work just in time to celebrate.

You can just see some blobs of caulking at the edge of the deck, but it actually goes all the way around the foot of the railing.

Once mom and dad headed home, I finished up by caulking more sealant around all the legs of the railing to ensure there was no chance of water getting in. As I write this, it is raining for the first time since finishing the deck. It will be a good opportunity to double check my seals. I’m happy this project is done and that it should last at least 25 years.

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