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Getting the foundation right at the farmette

So the deck project continues...with a reconstruction of the east wall. Last week, when we ripped up the old deck, we found an awful lot of rot underneath. Before building a whole new place to hang out, we found we had to do some serious structural work.

Thank goodness we have Mike in the driver's seat - he actually knows what he's doing. He knew right away what was needed, and got down to it. This weekend, we also have the distinct advantage of having my other nephew Darren on the team - a big, burly former football player who's able to lift large sheets of plywood and other hefty things with very little effort.

The wee east yard was a hive of activity yesterday, with saws and hammers and nail guns, oh, my.

Fortunately, Mike has all the necessary equipment. It's making the job as smooth as it can be, given the circumstances of dealing with a 150-year-old house that had kind of fallen into disrepair. The guys worked really hard all day, so Rob and I bought them some stubbies from Molson's. While neither of them were even born when the originals were in production, I think they appreciated having a couple of cold ones at lunch time.

There were a few times of frustration along the way...we have a gigantic boxwood bush in the corner that abuts the main part of the house and outside of the bathroom. While I managed to chop a path into the area, it was still a tight squeeze for Mike, who's well over six feet tall.

In the same corner, Darren discovered that the 2x6 that ran vertically adjacent to the bricking was so rotten, it crumbled to dust in his hands! It's hard to fathom how things have hung together for as long as they have...

In the end - like at about 7 p.m. last night - the wall was repaired, the rotten wood discarded, new plywood and tar paper applied, and everything's ready for framing the deck today. Board and batten for the wall will come later.

Once again, we had a huge meal, topped off with great conversation and catching up. We rarely see these guys - and most of the time, it's with a crowd of other relatives - so it was a real treat to trade jokes and yarns and anecdotes about family antics. Gotta say that we're truly lucky (and thankful!) to have such fine, helpful, skilled and kind nephews...until next week.

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