Saturday, May 12, 2012

My 36.00 Pallet Deck!

Since we moved in here I have been trying to find a way to make this modular home not look so, well, modular homish!!! 

I think it started when I was working as a dispatcher with Fresno PD, seeing all the people fighting and aptly getting the name 'Trailer Trash' given to them.

Now lets stop and think for a moment.  If you live in a trailer and you have a history of police calls of  over 50 in the last 5 years (or more!) I have the right to call you trailer trash in my mind.  Or write it on my blog. 

Maybe it was when my husband called me his trailer trash bride the day we actually signed the papers to our new castle!  Wait, not big enough for a castle.  Home!  Really not big enough, lets settle for cottage!!! 

Cottage works well! 

I let him call me that twice by the way.... He hasn't called me it since!  I love my hubby!!!

So hence the fact I now live in a trailer, er.... Cottage!!!!!  and I want to disguise the fact that its actually a modular!  I have a ton of idea's that I am working on, but right now, I really really want a place I can sit and have my morning coffee like I used to at Garland! 

We all know I had to build a retaining wall.  Which I completed last summer, and then proceeded to be immovable most of the winter!  On a good note my under arm flab was gone!!!!

 But the whole area down by the house was blah and yukky and muddy and well.. who wants to walk out to this and have a cup of coffee while you enjoy the morning breeze? 

Ya, I didn't think so....

Wouldn't you like to look out at this.. and wake up grabbing your cup of coffee and rush out to the patio where you can relax listening to the birds and the squirrels?  slowly starting your day?

See, silly me already knows the answer to that.  Because I sat on this very patio every day I was off work and every evening as I was home from work eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee, making my lists (I bet you never thought I made lists).  I was on this patio every time the weather allowed me to be. 

I mention the weather because it would get hot!  And sometimes it would be 11 pm and it would still be too hot to be out here.  However, the cold never scared me, I was often seen on the patio curled up in a throw blanket all comfy and cozy!  But then again cold was somewhere in the 50's... my new cold is 30's and there isn't any part of this body heading outside without Eskimo gear on.

No longer living at Garland I now have the challenge to recreate this exact place.  A place to have coffee and make my lists once again. 

However, this (before our current pres-i-dent) patio cost money.  The bricks alone were several hundred dollars.  and well, that's money I would put elsewhere on this property!  But to be honest, I just don't have that type of money for a patio!

So, putting my thinking cap on, and grabbing my notebook and scouring the internet I looked at idea after idea on how to make a patio for cheap. 

Pallet wood was on the list.  I actually pinned several wood patio's under my Pinterest board labeled 'My Pallets' (I know, real creative name!!!).  Seeing the idea's of what others have done and reading up on how to actually build a 'real' deck (doesn't everyone curl up with a good book on building decks on a rainy day?).  I finally got the courage to tell my hubby, 'I wanna build a deck for cheap!!'  (Yes, I used that wording, with a funny accent that only he and myself and everyone I ever worked with could hear in their mind!).

Pausing for you all to laugh!

And this is how it went down....

I scoped out the area.  Knowing that I wanted a large, LARGE raised deck at the front door entrance I measured out what the county will allow me to build without a permit.  I then measured out areas for very tall raised beds. 

Can you tell I am trying to hide the white?

I then measured the pallets and used those measurements to figure out how long I wanted it and how wide.  I needed a walkway to get from the gate to the front door and I needed the gate to clear the deck. 

Taking that and more into consideration I started the design. 

And the location was chosen.

 Ugly right?  (Just say yes, agree with me here!!!!)

Here's a view from above! 

Yes, the area it ugly!!  No personality!  Drab and dreary!  No wonder I am on doses of Vitamin D to keep my spirits up!!!!

Someone call me in a prescription for Lipitor!!!

No wait, that's a cholesterol med.... Er.... I mean Paxil!!!!!  

But first things first.  I needed to fix the steps.  I fussed with them for weeks!  They didn't match up to the curves I put on the stone wall.  So, when all else fails, pour concrete the same colors as the bricks in the holes closest to the gate.  Thus fixing my problem. 

Well, almost.  But we will leave it at that.  I am way blonder then I pay to be and this is as far as I want to show you my blondness!! 

Wasn't I a genius to use a gallon milk jug to measure the little bit of concrete that I needed? 

Let me believe I was the first one to think of it!! Just let me believe!!!

With the cement poured and the edge of the bricks washed... Yes I was out there with a paper towel and a toothbrush (not mine!!!) washing the edges!  I know, there is a large splat of white paint on the brick... I will deal with that splat later! 

After the brick walkway was in I made sure the gravel was level and deep enough.  It's about 6-12 inches deep at this level.  Which in this weather is good for me.  Enough gravel for it to sink down and drain away!

I then, this is where the 36.00 comes in at, went to the hardware store and purchased 6 pressure treated 2x6x8's.  Hubby came with me and as we drove over to where they were the guy takes the paper that I paid for them and looked at hubby "Do ya wanna pick them out yourself?"

Gotta love it when this happens.  They just assume the man is doing the work! 

Hubby points to me and says, "You're gonna have to ask her, she's the one building this thing"

The look on his face was priceless!!!!  Totally and utterly priceless as he asks me if I want to choose the wood I want. 

Of course I am already out of the truck and exclaim "Oh heck ya!!  I don't want boards that are all marred up!!!"  I put on my gloves (Always wear gloves when touch any pressure treated wood!!) and started going through them one by one. 

I want this one... and this one... and oh heck no!! Denied!!  This one.. and so on.

I laid the pressure treated boards down on the leveled gravel and then I laid the pallets down on top of the boards.  Look at the edge and you can see the lumber underneath.  Why would I do it this way?  For several reasons, all of which I hope were correct reasons. 

1. It rains a lot up here and the pressure treated wood has direct contact with the gravel.  While the water will soak into the gravel I am going to guess that the wood that touches the gravel will be wetter most of the time.  This way, it will resist the rot longer.

2.  I wanted to keep the pallets slightly off the ground to allow any major rainfall to flow underneath of the deck while creating air flow for drying. 

3.  I needed something to screw the pallets into to secure them all as one unit.  The way I laid them out, they are all secured and totally heavy and they are not moving even if you tug and tug and tug!!!  Trust me, I needed to move it over 2 inches and well... I am just going to have to adjust the rest of my design around that 2 inches. 

Life is good, and this will not bother me.  It will NOT bother me!!!

Time to move on...

I laid the pallets down on the boards, pushed them close to each other, nice and snug and screwed them into the pressure treated lumber with galvanized exterior screws. 

I used 3 pallets long and 1 1/2 pallets wide.  Making sure to measure each pallet and use only ones that were the same size with boards that were the same thickness (or as close as I could get)  The base pallets are strong pallet wood but not the pretty (oh what a cute deck) pallet wood. 

After screwing them all in to the base lumber I was done for the day. 

You try carrying all those pallets down the stairs that aren't secured and finished!! 

I am not going to point out the error on this yard area that is driving me nuts.  Even though I see it in the photo.. I am just going to keep on moving.

View from the shop.... with Maggie inspecting. Really Maggie is in mourning saying "Mom, that's my poop area!! Where am I going to poop now?"

I then proceeded to take apart pallet after pallet that had nice pretty wood and as close to the same thickness as possible. 

If you want to do this, let me suggest the following:  Each pallet is going to have slats that are the same thickness, length and width.  But each pallets slats will be different.  So as you take them apart keep the wood that comes off of each pallet together.  As sets!  That way you can make complete runs all the way across the deck that are the same size.  This will minimize the cracks and holes in your deck and allow you to build it going from thickest (in the back) to thinnest (in the front).

I laid out the boards thickest to thinnest for a reason.  As you walk on the deck I didn't want your shoe to get caught and have someone trip on the deck.  The higher edges are in the back.

Ok, I put the patio furniture on it before it was painted.  I couldn't wait!!!!  I wanted to see if it would actually fit!

Well, I need to remake a new coffee table.  But, I can make one really easy with wood from (You can hear it I know!)  out of pallets!

Last night I cleared the deck and primed and painted it! 

Waiting over night for it to dry, was hard!!!

So I woke up and went out and quietly (hubby was still sleeping) put all the furniture on it!

I set up the broken umbrella!  Actually broken in the perfect spot to go against the house.

Now, It's only done for the summer.  Hopefully, before fall I will be putting a cover over it so when it does rain and it's not freezing outside, I can still sit outside with my coffee!

I also am planning on a rain barrel water system that will go in the corner, along with more taller planters to be put in.

Essentially, you will walk into this little courtyard and I am hoping you will think and feel as if you are in a little part of an English garden.   Maybe I should post some photos of the actual plants I have been planting down there! 

Hmmm.. sometime soon. 

What do you think? 

Hubby woke up and came out to see it this morning and loved it.  It didn't even take 5 minutes and we were sitting in the chairs like we did at Garland, talking about the stuff we always talk about. 

Ok, ok, me talking endlessly about dribble and stuff and my loving husband agreeing with every word I say! 

I am one blessed woman!!!!

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