Follow up on deck I posted about.


FOLLOW-up on deck. Over the last couple years I asked questions here about building a deck that could be partially disassembled (to build something undderneat) and I've thought and maybe posted about how to combine it with a new stairway to the basement (maybe by having the steps to the deck counter-levered or on springs, above the stairway, so the stairway to the basement wouldn't take up valuable space in my little townhouse back yard), or combining it with a storage locker for a bicycle and lawnmower, or general storage underneath the deck,
And fiinally the plan was to have no deck at all until I could make up my mind. Maybe have no deck at all and just more grass.
So I started to tear this 12x6 foot deck apart, and I only needed my hands, no tools, until I got to the part underneath the two-fooot 2nd floor overhang, where it was still in good shape, nothing loose, nothing rotting. So I sawed off the middle 2x8's, put in posts in the middle and further back on the sides, sawed off the outside 2x8's, and put a 1x8 fascia? board along the front, and I have a mini-deck.
I really like it. It's like an outside workbench. And without the railing, I have a better view of the yard from the living room.
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mm wrote:

If it is high enough off the ground to serve as a workbench, you'll probably have to add a railing back when you sell the place. I'm assuming there is still a way to walk out on it, of course.
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

As a matter of fact, either my next door neighbor or my nemisis, the wicked HOA president. had called the county inspector on me in Apriil I think, which is pretty strange since I had pretty serious abdomnnal surgery in January, and they both knew it, and knew I wasn't in shape to do any work yet, and I had even told the neighbor I would get things done a couple months later when I was better, and I thought he smiled and said that was fine. And I meant it. I would have done this all two months later.
The county gave me iirc 60 days, and I did most of the work in the last 3 weeks of that. I also assembled a firewood rack and removed the cut up tree from the deck to the rack, and cut up the parts of the deck I think are not treated with a little electric chain saw. It's amazing how powerful those thing are. (A friend gave me this one when a tenant at the ministorage she runs left it behind. It turned out he had the blade on backwards and he problably thought the saw was no good.)
BUT THE POINT IS, I found the Baltimore County building code online, very very very very little detail, but four pages on decks, entirely diagrams with a few notes on the diagrams, and iirc 32 inches was the height at which it had to have a railing and perhaps steps (not clear). I measured and it was 2 inches less than that, but then I measured again a few days later, the very morning the inspector was expected, (or the next day), and the two inches had disappeared.
I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO LOWER THE DECK and still keep it horizontal, so I decided the raise the earth. I rushed to HD and bought some topsoil and put enough down in the low spots to "lower" the deck enough.
The topsoil was wet and something like a child's modeling clay. It certainly didn't sprinkle like I thought it would. (Not even weeks later after it had time to dry.) I went inside for a couple hours and that mght be when he came. I got a phone message the next day that everything was okay he woudlnt' be back, unless he got another complaint.
Since then I've caught up on almost all the outside stuff, though I still have to replace some marginal fence pickets.
The neighbor however moved out in August, and though there is no sign in front of his house, it seems to be for sale. I googled his address a few weeks ago and one real estate company said a short sale was anticipated, and because they take at least 4 months to approve (because it used to be there was one lender, but iiuc since the debts are resold, there are lots of lenders that have to approve settling for less than the money owed.) they weren't going to even show the house and they urged people not to buy it. (although if you could wait 4 months or more, it was selling for 25% below what it sold for in August of 2007 when he bought it when prices were their highest. )
Thursday night he was back for the first time, sitting behind a fence making phone calls, chatting. Maybe he was inside earlier. The next day a building inspection company was there, with a ladder. And now a different webpage says the house is under contract. I never saw any realtor show it. I wonder who bought it. Maybe he's not moving in for four more months?

I appreciate your pointing that out. Although I may be dead by then. The neighbor left (and all my previous neighbors were nice) and if we can get the pres out of office, I'm willing to live here the rest of my life.

Yes, the sliding glass door from the living room.
I also didn't build steps from the deck to the grass. So far, no problem, but if I do build steps, their height will end up being the full 32 inches and I'll have to put in a railng for the steps.

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