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Deck, Seat and Pergola Complex

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This is a step-by-step account of a deck, seat and pergola complex building project. It covers all aspects of construction, time frame, unforeseen problems (if any), owners and builders comments and more.

In this page
  • The nailing
  • The finishing touches
  • How long did it take?
  • What did the owners think?
  • What did the builders think?
  • What happened to the cat?

  • The nailing. The nails, 60mm (2 1/2") galvanized were staggered along the joists.
    Why? Sometimes straight nailing can cause a 'wedging' effect which can create a split along the joist over time, especially in straight grain timber.
    The nails were hit in flush.
    deck nailing
    click to enlarge
    Finishing touches to the pergola. A partial sun shade was added to the top of the pergola.
    This was made from hardwood deck boards ripped in half. They were the same length as the pergola beams and were spaced 50mm (2") apart.
    pergola shade
    click to enlarge
    Preparing for the edging. Once the decking was laid, the ends had to be trimmed of flush with the end joists in preparation for the edging. deck ready for edging
    click to enlarge
    The edging. The edging consisted of two decking boards around the edge of the deck. The top board was flush with the top of the deck, and there was a nail thickness gap between the top edging board and the bottom edging board. deck edging boards
    click to enlarge
    All finished. All finished, the site was cleaned up, and the builders jumped on their horses and rode off into the sunset singing 'Hi Yo silver and away' (well, sort of) deck and seat finished
    click to enlarge
    deck, pergola and steps finished
    click to enlarge

    How long did it take?
    It took a little over a week from start to finish, two days longer than estimated, but as Toffee (the apprentice) said, "I don't know why he doesn't just add on two days to every job he does, because every job always takes two days longer than he predicts".
    Oh well.

    What did the owners think?
    The owners were very pleased with the job.

    What did the builders think
    An ideal job. Good access, good weather (mostly), easy digging and good clients.

    What happened to the cat?
    Nothing sinister here. Just a big scaredy cat. In fact the builders never even saw the cat. The cat went into hiding whenever the builders showed up. We have recently been informed that the cat loves the deck.

    Follow up
    A follow up three months down the track to see how much the hardwood has weathered (changed colour) and if there are any timber shrinkages. More....
    related topics:
    How to build exterior steps
    Anatomy of a deck
    How to build a handrail

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