Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Home-Improvement Chronicles: The Finished Deck


revealed: here is my girl! all dolled up and ready for her closeup. she is my neapolitan cake, my sugary homestead, depot of all future paychecks and asset to my mythical children. it only took 394 days, tens of thousands of dollars, 7,000 nails, 394 headaches, 20 calls to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and endless hand-wringing. but the butterfly in the cocoon has been set free — and so have i. goodbye, Operation: Home Remodel (for now).


side view: i’m hyper pleased with how everything turned out (save the fact that the new deck is smaller than the old deck). the lines, angles and colors all blended perfectly, making my barbie dream house on the hill appear larger and more expensive than it actually is. i have to thank my marvelous contractor again for making this happen. you should call him: Platon Markarian, 818.279.3118. also my architect ex Mo, whom you can contact by contacting me privately (my email is in the sidebar). i feel like i had very little to do with this beyond signing the checks.


other side view: another cool thing my contractor did was build this enclosement for my HVAC unit at the side of the house. we had some leftover wood and i hated the look of that ugly, gray piece of machinery, which sits at the end of my driveway, so it caught my eye daily, so i asked him to put this together. now it looks like a respectable member of the household, unlike my ugly pink garage, which is reflected in the door. that is the new red-headed stepchild, my project for next year.


light fixtures: these craftman-esque-ness lights really complete the look of the house. there are six total — three near the deck, two by the front door and one by the side door (shown above) — courtesy of


union: the big idea behind the deck was to not make it look like an “alien deck,” as Mo would say, meaning it needed to be incorporated into the overall design of the house instead of seeming like an after thought. beyond just being incorporated, the deck essentially dictated the design, with the size and spacing of its horizontal railing determining the size and spacing of the siding.


the mailbox: we had some leftover cranberry-colored paint so Platon painted the old white mailbox and turned it into this beauty. the mailbox, which came with the house, is really a piece of shit — the cheapest thing on the market with a bent flag and busted door that prevents it from latching properly. it’s amazing what a splash of red can do to something haggard, which probably explains why i have so much red in my closet.


the house numbers: call me crazy, but i don’t want to reveal my address here, so here’s a nice pic of the house numbers in sequential order, courtesy of their copper color looks lovely against the cream-colored house. you’ll have to take my word on that.


placement: they are right around that mucked-up blur. round of applause for my photo-retouching skills, please. i’m actually not that thrilled with their placement — i probably should have put them on the board right above where they ended up and spaced them farther apart. round of applause for my house number-placing abilities, please.


the table: this placement i am very happy with. it’s my new deck table, courtesy of, which is run by the very lovely Barb in San Diego. she makes all her tables out of reclaimed wood (fir, i believe) and includes tax and delivery in the price. the table is about six feet long, with two benches that seat six comfortably. the downside is that its size makes it hard to put any other furniture on the deck, so i’ve just been dragging chairs and ottomans onto the deck when i want to recline in something more comfortable. down the road, i may replace it with a smaller table and a chaise lounge.


deckish dogs: my bitches are big-time sunbathers so i know being deckless for a year annoyed them, maybe even more than it annoyed me. Pinko especially seems overjoyed to have her special pastime back. every saturday morning, she sits impatiently by the deck door until i open it and let her charbroil herself.


my joy: many times i’ve entertained the idea of dragging my bed onto the deck so i can camp out in comfort under the stars. i eat dinner here every night and step onto it right after i get home from work to take in a few calming breaths before starting the errands of my evening. it is an instant mood uplifter.

yay! people are laughing on my deck.

this right here: labor day weekend, i had the first round of housewarmers come through in the form of my high school family. they brought with them booze, food, stories, laughter and positive energy. i couldn’t stop smiling.


Sol Hendricks said...

You nailed this wooden deck a year ago. How is it now? Based on the finished version, I could say the crew did a good job despite the mishaps. The addition of this deck did improved the value of your home. What more is, it has practical functions aside from aesthetics. --Sol @

Jesse Morrison said...

“It only took 394 days, tens of thousands of dollars, 7,000 nails, 394 headaches, 20 calls to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety and endless hand-wringing.” – Oh, the works and troubles of home improvement. But seeing the end result, I could say all your expenses and hassles were worth it. The deck is as lovely as its view! Jesse @