Walkway, a before and after show and tell

My arms feel like jello tonight. This afternoon, I did what any sensible girl with a head cold that she can’t kick would do; I spent over 2 hours outside pressure washing the deck. Thankfully, the wind wasn’t whipping like it was yesterday,  but I still was wiped out by the time I was done. Check out the deck though.

deck color differenceUh…this is actually the before shot. Check out the deck in a few shots.

Two weekends ago while I was on fall break, my parents sacrificed a day of vacation to come help me out with the house… again. At least it wasn’t 8,000 degrees outside like the last time my hero dad worked outside with me. And, this time, I was useful too. Even though I told him I was going to be brave and use the circular saw, I left my dad in charge of cutting all the boards, and I took the job of screwing them down to the ramp. I was finally useful as more than a holder of the tools! Seriously, HGTV, do you see this? My skillz are blossoming. I am 100% certain that if you paired me with a HOTT carpenter, all of America would enjoy seeing me come into my own on the home improvement front.

Anyway, look at those awesome boards (ignore the jagged edges; we didn’t have a chalk line that day to snap a line and even the boards). Now, normally, I wouldn’t use 2×4 wood as decking. Ever. But, my dad had a point that trying to match the already existing deck was probably better than putting down the appropriate wider planks. The wood width matches, but as you can see above, the color did not. Most.definitely.did.not.

That’s some gross wood on the right.

deck midway pointSo, I busted out the pressure washer that I bought myself last Black Friday. You heard me. I buy pressure washers on Black Friday. And, I started working my way across the deck inch by inch. It turns out the bargain basement pressure washer from Walmart works, but it’s not capable to doing entire boards at once. I cleaned all the decking on the top level of the deck, and as I was running out of steam, I cleaned the first few boards on the lower deck because I knew that would seal my fate. I wouldn’t be able to stand looking at the half-cleaned lower deck all winter, so even if lousy fall weather rolled in, I would be forced to go outside one more time to clean the lower deck.

The strategy worked. That lower deck has annoyed me beyond description for the past two weeks.

I also pressure washed some rugs from the upstairs hallway. Yes, I know. That’s weird. I felt like perhaps I should set up Blake Shelton’s song Redneck and just blare it for all the neighborhood to hear while I was out there pressure washing rugs, but I’m going to be able to get a little more life out of them, so don’t judge. Now, don’t go pressure wash your great-grandmama’s heirloom rug. I want to be clear that these rugs were close-out store cheap to begin with, and it was either throw them away or try to wash them. So, really, I don’t think you should pressure wash your rugs if there is a chance of you shedding tears if you ruin them. But, if you want to try it, get Blake Shelton’s song blaring, wet the rugs down, put some soap on them (I used dish soap though perhaps carpet cleaner would have been a better choice), and then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse (unless you’re smart enough to not use a high suds soap).

deck finishedToday, I went back out to tackle the deck. And, despite a runny nose, I kept at it for over two hours. Here’s the final product. It’s not all matchy-matchy, of course, but it does look better. I think those new boards should weather during the winter, and the colors will get even closer. Oh, and HGTV, ignore that I screwed one board down with the print facing up. I learned my lesson, and that is the only board on the deck like that. Pinky swear.

walkway fall 2012And, here’s the difference a year makes. Yes, I can’t believe it. This project took over a whole year. Actually, I still can’t believe I wasn’t wise enough to just leave the walkway down in the first place since I’m thinking about selling the house in the upcoming months. Darn you, possums!

walkway fall 2013And, here the walk is now. Well, actually this was two weeks ago, so the grass is considerably more lush at this point. If my arms hadn’t been in a jello like state and the Steelers game hadn’t been about to start, I should have mowed the grass this afternoon.

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