Big Projects

It’s been a busy (and expensive) year at our house! August was an especially big month. We had a new roof installed, got a new AC, furnace and water heater. The AC desperately needed to be replaced (it was 22 years old!) and it just made sense to do the other two things. The roof also needed to be done.

The other big project left to do was the deck in the back yard. Our deck has been a hazard for awhile now. It was time to just take care of it. The problem was everyone was booked all summer long.

So we didn’t get to enjoy a new deck this summer but I can’t wait to enjoy it next year!



The deck has been rotting and breaking for awhile now. The gutters also made a sinkhole in one end which made the whole thing lilt. I hated going out there this year (and last year when I was about 5 months pregnant I fell off the step one morning and twisted my ankle, so not cool). It just wasn’t safe for us, for Bella. Next year when Logan is more mobile, a new deck will be a good thing!



The guys came and propped the roof up with new beams and then tore the old deck down and hauled it away. It was so strange seeing a big hole in its place.

Unexpected bonus: we found a bunch of Bella’s toys that had gone missing! 😉

The new deck was being bumped out two feet to make it a little wider and more efficient. The deck we had was a little on the narrow side, especially with patio furniture on it. You had to walk sideways to get around the table and sit in the chairs. It was just a pain. That extra two feet will be great.

It took them about three days to do it and I couldn’t be happier!


It turned out GREAT! The guys did a fabulous job. The two feet made such a huge difference. They also changed the way the roof was held up to get rid of the posts and open up the deck when you look out at it.


The railings look much better. They moved the gutter to prevent flooding. They also (for free) enclosed the bottom of the deck to keep leaves and stuff from getting underneath the deck. Which Bella will be happy about because she lost many balls under the old deck!


The contractor was super professional and nice and just really good. I’m happy with the work, happy to pay them, happy it’s finished! If you’re in the Portland area and looking for someone to do work, I definitely recommend him. Here’s his website: Tim Austin LLC.



So once it dries out for about a week (probably next spring, sometime before summer) we need to seal it. And then we can decorate a bit, maybe get some planters and stuff. I’m also looking forward to maybe getting a firepit for the backyard. We also want to get some canned lighting in the roof of the deck so we can really enjoy it all summer long. Then we can really enjoy our new outdoor space! I’m so excited!

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

8 thoughts on “Big Projects”

  1. Oh, that DOES look nice, and I’m happy for the recommendation! A deck is on my long list of things I’d like to add to my house – right now I just have a patio/yard, so at least I don’t have something that has to be ripped out. Did you consider using other materials than wood? I am not really keen on maintenance so I’m thinking some of the fake materials might be a better choice for me but I don’t know if they look good.

    1. We got a quote for something that wasn’t wood–I can’t remember what the material was. But it was like more than double the cost. And honestly, we probably are not going to be in this house in 5 years so it didn’t make sense to spend that much. And I kind of prefer wood.

      The maintenance shouldn’t be too bad once we get it cleaned and sealed. I think he said to do the seal annually for the first two years and then you can do it like every other year.

      1. I am so not into maintenance that it would probably be worth it to me to pay 2x to not have to do anything to the deck ever again – but I’m pretty much planning to live in this house FOREVER so that makes a big difference! But it also means the deck project keeps getting pushed out into the future, so I can save up for it!

  2. That deck looks fantastic! I can just see it strung with lights (maybe even solar!) and hanging out there in the summer.

    Doesn’t it seem like all the big house stuff comes at once?
    Lori recently posted..Blarney Castle

  3. Your deck looks awesome! Isn’t it amazing how much of a difference 2 ft make? I like the way the bottom looks all closed off.
    We have a house that has a geriatric AC also. Did yours quit working or did you replace it before it completely died? Ours still works (we had it recently inspected), but obviously a new AC wouldn’t cost as much to operate.

    1. Our AC quit working once or twice a summer for the last two years, if I remember correctly. We’d have the guy out to service it and add coolant or replace parts and it would work again but we knew we were on borrowed time.

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