Summer is here, and Dakota decided we were not going to go another month without our deck. Our house is small and we don't have central air conditioning, so it makes life so much better to have that extra outdoor space. The French doors in our kitchen/dining room open onto the deck, and when it was warm enough, we'd eat meals out there. I'm looking forward to doing that again, especially now that our son will be joining us.
Three weekends ago, Dakota got the structural part of the deck all built. Impressively, he did it all by himself, aided only by scaffolding and clamps. That dude is tough. The structure is made of treated lumber, but the actual deck itself will be built using Ipe.
Ipe is a tropical hardwood that is so hard and dense that it's both rot and bug resistant. It also won't need to be sealed or painted. So, that means less work to install and maintain. Of course, it's also more expensive that traditional deck woods like cedar, but since our deck is fairly small, we think it's worth it. This Ipe is FSC certified, so it's supposed to be sustainably harvested. There's some argument on the Internet as to whether this is really possible when you're talking about wood cut down in the Amazon basin. Like many products marketed as sustainable, it's difficult for the consumer to know what to believe.
Dakota got a lot of the Ipe decking down last weekend, and should finish up this weekend.
The wood starts out red, but will eventually fade to a grayish color, much like the unsealed cedar on the chicken coop.
After the deck is down, we're adding galvanized wire "fence" panels between the railing posts to keep all dogs and babies from falling. The hope is to eventually grow vines on panels for privacy and prettiness. There will also be a slanted roof over part of the deck, where we'll put a small dining table for the previously-mentioned outdoor dining.
I can't wait to enjoy cool summer evenings as a family.