Monday, March 12, 2007

Project Enduring Containment

Pre-Project Stairs of Death
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.

Here is a view down the 23 steps from our front door to the street, or as we have been calling them since having kids; The Stairs of Death.

When I built the deck a few years ago, I put railings all the way up the steps and along the front of the covered deck itself but for some reason I stopped there, never building the full enclosure.

Work in Progress
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
This past Saturday, I finally got around to finishing the rails and building a proper gate. The impetus for this tardy burst of activity was the three year old recently escaping from the shoddy child gate we had slapped in place and running off into the woods towards Grandma and Grandpa. We just barely caught the little booger before he was gone.

Muddy Deck with Beer
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
It rained most of the day, and ironically in an attempt to seal the deck off from dogs and other mud vectors, we got everything filthy.

Men Working
Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
The little guy really wanted to come out and help but he doesn't have his union card yet so he had to stay inside.

Not allowed outside, he had to content himself with bifurcating the livestock... Sort of disturbing really...

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
My dad came over and built this rack, which hangs in place and can be lifted onto pegs to block off the stairs of death.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Clever 45 degree cut blocks use its own weight to hold the barricade up against the railings.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
Here is my railings and gate. I'm still trying to decide whether it needs some X bracing. I hope not. I like the way it looks as it is.

Originally uploaded by gene_poole.
When I built all the railings for the steps and main part of the house, I notched the 4x4s by six inches and then ran carriage bolts through the part that hung down, bolting them into the 2x12 deck supports. This didn't turn out to be as sturdy as I'd quite like in a few places. So this time around, when I had three new posts to install, I used pressure treated and ran them down all the way into the ground. I still bolted to the 2x12s, but hope this will be much sturdier.