It is now June: We usually entered Lil’s house using the steps in the rear, as this led to a mud room. Suitcase in hand, I started up the stairs. As soon as I stepped on the first step and grabbed the handrail I knew there was a problem. My foot went through the first step and the handrail was waving like a flag. Carefully, I made it up the stairs into the house.
It has been a long day. First the propane tank incident, and now this. Time for a beer!
When I returned in August- Digging Deeper Into The Problem
So, What Happened?
Zero TLC, that’s what happened. The rear staircase and landing were made of Cedar. Many of you have Cedar decks or outdoor furniture. As I teach in “Class Three”, Cedar is a type of wood that needs to be maintained. Every two to three years exterior cedar structures should be power washed, stained, and sealed. And if you don’t, well, you see the pictures above.
Time To Rebuild-
I decided to use pretreated lumber for the build. This included: the 4″x4″x 8′ supports, 5/4″ X 6″ decking for the stairs and the landing, and the tapered handrails. The decking was secured with Stardrive Deckmate coated screws (see sizes below). As for tying the structure together, we used 1/2″ X 6″ galvanized carriage bolts and washers. With careful planning by my partner Pamela, we were able to reuse the balusters, which were in good condition.
We Needed Materials- Off to Greenville To Get Materials
Something Different- The Anchor
The existing structural supports were sitting on the ground, and not anchored to anything. We decided to set and anchor the new 4″X 4″ supporting structure to 12″X12″x12″ concrete footings.
Each footing required 120 pounds of concrete, that is 6000 pounds of concrete that Pamela and I had to haul from Greenville, carry to the house, mix in buckets with water that we got from the lake, and pour. This was only the fun part!
The Hard Part
Remember, we had to dig five fairly deep holes. Maine isn’t Long Island, and we weren’t digging through sand, we were digging and removing: