Now that the siding is complete it is time to finish the deck that connects the driveway to the front stoop. The deck was built as part of the garage and laundry addition and we had used some concrete blocks to make temporary stairs to the front lawn. We had left the underside of the deck open, waiting for siding so that it would coordinate with the rest of the house.
I started on Saturday afternoon by removing the stain from the deck surface. The stain had deteriorated and we have decided to use clear water treatment only to avoid future problems. Following the stain removal I removed the concrete block stairs and then stood there and looked at the mess for about a half-hour. You see, like so much of this whole project, there is no plan for this little project. We had a rough idea of where we wanted to end up which were no square corners. It is our thought that using gentle curves blends with the natural environment better.
Saturday afternoon ended prior to getting as far as I planned. I determined the height and then constructed the curved front and rounded end of this lower step. I framed it with some salvage redwood that has been in the machine shed since we removed the West deck during the Sunroom addition.
This step slopes away from the house to the East to assist in drainage. This slope matches the slope of the driveway and the portion of deck that meets the driveway. Unlike the deck these stairs will float with the ground.
Sunday morning I added a 2 X 6 framing member under the platform and then cut two pieces of pressure treated plywood to match the radius of the platform. The curved red framing member under the platform decking is this same type plywood.
I used framing squares to transfer the shape to the step surface below because I had forgotten the radius I used 2 years before.
This photo shows the two pieces of plywood screwed to the cedar decking.
Once the upper and lower curved sections are in place I cut 3" strips of rough-sawn siding and ship-lapped the edges. I stapled these pieces to the curved sections, sort of the barrel look. At first view it looks round but upon close investigation you'll discover that it is actual short straight segments.
I worked my way around and extended the last piece under the deck so that I can attach a nail strip for the main deck siding.
I worked nearly 3 hours on the framing that supports a 3/4 pressure treated plywood section and the curved riser that the decking will be screwed to. I removed a trailer load of dirt in the process.
Not shown in this shot is the 2 X 6 short straight sections that close the outside edge of the curve to prevent rodents from burrowing under the step.
The decking came next. This is 5/4 X 6 cedar decking that has a radius edge. It took almost an hour to fit the first piece that fits the rounded siding section. Then the other pieces were screwed down temporarily to mark the radius on the outside edges.
After cutting the decking on these curved lines it was sanded smooth and then removed one piece at a time to mill a radius on the ends (top and bottom).
The last step was to fill in the riser siding pieces.
All total this project took about 12 hours to complete to this point. I used 7 - 12' decking boards with minimal waste. The final step will be to stain the rough-sawn plywood gray and seal the cedar.
But before moving on to the stain I need to complete the remainder of the siding. I will take more photos of this phase which should prove interesting.