Mini Post: Deck Rebuild –

By Wayne Halm –

It is raining again – guess I should be thankful it is not snow.   I am not going to get anything done on the deck today.

I wanted to be finished by now … that just didn’t happen.  Tomorrow I leave for a week in California, finishing the deck will have to wait for my return.

Today let’s do a de-brief.  Let’s talk about status and lessons learned.


The deck is functional for Sally and the dogs now.  It still needs the permanent step treads, the step railing, and the railing pickets – but Sally and the dogs can enjoy it while I am gone.

2015-12-04--#01--Deck Rebuild - Deck

Deck as is


Everything will get a couple of more coats of stain when I get back … until then Sally can use it.

Lessons Learned:

I learned a lot on this project – some good things and some I’m less proud of.

On the good side — I learned to cut and drill into concrete and how to build steps.  On a larger scale I learned that I could do this myself, it took a lot longer and required more thought … but I did it.

On the middle ground — I’ll mention an area where I just got lucky.  The height of the deck was such that I could stand on the ground and straddle the framing beams.  I had not considered this beforehand, but during construction it occurred to me that a few inches higher would have been much more difficult.  I just got lucky.

On the lessor side — There are some things I would do differently should I do this again.

One – I would buy a better grade of saw.  The inexpensive one I bought cuts quickly … but not very straight.

2015-12-04--#02--Deck Rebuild - Saw

This saw has a weak base that bends allowing the blade to wander.


Two – I would remember to close the doors and windows to keep the dust out of the house.  It took me longer to clean the dust out of the den than to cut the blocks that made the dust.

Three – I would put more thought into the timing of the project.  If possible I wouldn’t start during the rainy season.  

Four – I would be careful with delivery date promises.  This is taking much longer than anticipated.  Three things greatly contributed to the blown schedule – working alone – the weather –and neighbors.  Yeah, having neighbors means you can’t start hammering at first light.

Five – I would remember sales taxes.  Yeah, I’m over budget.  Basically I forgot to add in sales taxes on the items bought.  Duh!!


Overall I think I did a good job on the deck.  I’m behind schedule but that is always the case.  I’ve made a lot of progress and the current condition seems like a fine place to pause.  I believe that I have earned the California trip.

I may post about the trip if I do anything exciting.  For sure I will make another deck post when I return to show off the finished product.  Check back and see it.

Then — Come play golf with me.    


Click her to see the finished product -or-

Return to Golfing on Kauai Home Page  



8 thoughts on “Deck Post 19 De-brief

    • Aloha Jim,

      I don’t mind the lessons too much – however, I do wish some of them weren’t so embarrassingly obvious. Thanks, I am enjoying my trip. — A Hui Hou, Wayne

  1. Aloha Wayne,

    I enjoyed reading about your deck building adventures! I even learned a few things too. I think it looks great! Have a great trip to Cali…any golf courses on the agenda?


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