Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Buried Treasure

Today marks day 3 of married life and while some might celebrate with a relaxing honeymoon vacation, we decided to spend it tackling a long overdue overhaul of our back deck. 

As is the case with most things around the house, the previous owners were not sticklers for proper home maintenance, and the deck is no exception.  I'm guessing it hasn't been sealed in at least a decade.

 And the lattice underneath is all broken and in need of replacing.

We came across a product made by Behr in This Old House magazine that is supposed to fill in cracks, seal, and give new life to old decks.  Because Menard's doesn't Behr, we went with a similar product made by Pittsburgh Paints.  But more about that later.

We came home from the store and set about readying the deck for restoration.  With our usual optimism (some may call it being naive), we estimated we could have the deck cleaned and ready to paint by lunchtime.  I set about sweeping the deck while Lance crawled underneath to rip out all of the lattice.  He soon discovered this was no easy task, as it was held in with about 100 nails per square inch, and the ground under there was covered with leaves, dirt, garbage, and some very well-developed small trees.  Finally, after no shortage of sweat and cursing, the large pile of debris had migrated from under the deck to the driveway. 

It was at this point that Lance exclaimed "hey, there's a door under here!"  Sure enough, there is a door leading to the space under the covered back porch.  "Be careful opening it!" I yelled.  "there could be raccoons....or hobos living under there!"  Not to be deterred by the threat of hobos, and ignoring my suggestion that he keep a weapon ready just in case, Lance bravely crawled in.

The good news is that not only were there no raccoons OR hobos, there was also a cache of riches!  Okay maybe not "riches" per se, but plenty of cool old stuff.

An old beer crate from JPM Binzel Co. Brewers in Beaver Dam,

An old metal Dad's Root Beer bucket

A green and white enamelware coffee pot (minus the lid, unfortunately)

And old feed sack from Watertown, WI

An old ash sifter from the Hustler Co. in Massachusetts, circa 1904 (typically this would go on top of a barrel to sift out the coal from the ashes),

........and a random bear statue.

 Clearly, by this point we had spent quite a bit of time excavating under the porch, so this is when we opted to take a break, revel in our riches, and wait for the newly hosed down deck to dry so we can get to the next stage of our plan.

Next up: sealing the deck!

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