Rain or Shine, He’s My Guy

I have mentioned that we are in the process of tearing down and re-building our back deck.  And when I say “we,” I mean exclusively Chris.  Other than saying, “Man, I hate our deck,” about six months ago, I have done little else.  He went all technical on me and used his drafting program from work to draft out our deck plans a few months ago.  Then we saved money for, like, forever because a deck is no cheap project.  And we are finally now ready to start the project.

In one weekend, Chris demolished the current deck, but was smart enough to leave a little section that is connected to our stairs so that we could let the dogs out.

Our current deck is on the second floor of our house, which posed a few problems.  It was really removed from the yard and pool for one thing.  It was really inconvenient to get out of the pool and not have anywhere to sit or put food or towels or anything.  You had to go all the way up to the second floor for those things.  Another problem was that the deck was the major thing you saw when you opened the windows off our living room.  And the deck was nasty looking.  So it gave a really bad view, and we kept our blinds closed most of the time.

What Chris decided, in his brilliance and glory, was that we should drop the new deck down to pool level.  That would give us an actual pool-side area for hanging out.  You can see in his drawing that there is a little platform at the top, just outside our back door, for the grill.  That way we don’t have to go all the way down to the pool level if we are just grilling something for dinner.  Also, you can see there will now be two ways to access the backyard.  You can come out the backdoor and go left down to the pool area and deck, or you can go right and go out to the backyard itself where all the playground stuff is.  The entire pool will be fenced off, so when we are playing out in the backyard, we don’t have to worry about the kids and the pool.  Chris is also going to build bench seating all around the sides of the deck which will have storage areas underneath for our pool floats and toys.

deck design 1

Last weekend Chris finished the demolition of the old deck, and this weekend he and two friends officially broke ground on our new deck.  They cleaned the area out, marked it off with string for measurements, and dug giant holes which they filled with gravel and cement for the support posts for the new deck.  Next weekend, Chris will start actual building, and given that he has a Masters degree from Yale in Building Stuff (didn’t know that was a real degree, did you?), I bet the entire thing will be finished or at least useable by next Sunday.  He’ll spend the next month or so putting finishing touches on it (i.e. installing bench seating, outdoor lighting on the stairs so we can see at night, etc.) and it should be ready to go by summer.

I’m so happy Chris is finally starting this project.  For one thing because I can’t wait to have a new deck to enjoy this summer.  But mostly because he is happier when he is DOING.  Chris is a doer.  He likes to be busy, active, and productive.  Sometimes that drives me crazy.  It makes me want to take a nap just watching him.  But, really, that is one of my favorite parts about him.  I love that he takes pride in our home, and in the projects he takes on around our house.  I love that he thinks outside the box, too.  Most people would probably have just rebuilt the deck as it was before.  That was the more traditional deck to have.  But Chris saw something totally different in his mind, drew a picture on the computer, and is now making it come to life.

This weekend, it was pouring rain.  Did I mention that?  POURING RAIN.  Chris and his buddy, Tray, were outside getting ready to pour the first cement post when the heavens opened up.  I watched them when it happened.  They stopped working and started laughing and complaining, “What?!?!  NOW????  It does this NOW?????”


And then they debated what they should do. Stop or keep going?


And then, being the hard working people they are, they just went on working in the pouring rain for two more hours.


It’s that attitude that keeps our marriage on track, too. Rain or shine, taking it easy or really working it out, Chris is going to show up for me. He will be there because you can always make things better, according to Chris. Sometimes that means tweaking what we already have, and sometimes that means leveling the whole thing and building it over from scratch. But no matter how much we have to work on in our marriage, Chris is going to show up and do whatever it takes. And that makes him the best kind of partner.

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9 Thoughts to “Rain or Shine, He’s My Guy”

  1. Pam

    Thsts a fantastic design, and it’s equally fantastic you have such a hardworking husband and a friend that is willing to help!

  2. Beautiful analogy. Can’t wait to see pictures of your beautiful deck, too!

  3. Wow that is hardcore! Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  4. My husband is the same way – one he gets going on something he really gets going. And yes, he is happier when he is working on a project. But unlike Chris, he does not have a degree in building so there is a lot more trial and error and well, a lot of bad language!

  5. kat

    that looks incredible! I am so dumbfounded that people can just do these things on their own without hving to hire someone!

  6. Vdragon

    I love your blog, I never miss a post, but I rarely comment. I love the fact that you shared Chris’s design. I did want to give some input on the design (and you can totally ignore me if you want). If it’s at all possible, I would recommend having a flat area from the door to the grill. I think having the multiple levels in this spot will make the space a little less usable, there’s also a serious tripping hazard if you are carrying a big hot plate of food from the grill to the door and a dog or kid were to trip you as you are stepping up. If this area were flat, you could also probably have room for a chair or random kid toy. That said, I think the step that goes around next to the house for additional seating is brilliant (sorry for unsolicited advice, I do have a degree in design that won’t let me stay quiet, please don’t hate me. )

  7. Aaron and I both function best when we have a lot of projects going on. And do you find that, thanks to that Yale degree, your husband drafts things in 3D CAD all the time and thinks in Excel? Mine does!

  8. Sara M

    Love the new design! My husband thinks up these great projects in his head which he then can’t explain to me and gets about half way through the project and never finishes. Fun times at our house.

    I had been wondering with your recent posts of the fight you guys had if Trey was still living with you. That would make fighting even more awkward.

  9. Nikki

    My Husband is definitely a do’er, and I’m a napper. Having the 3 month old baby has been a great excuse to not do much. Husband is outside working in the yard, and I’m inside taking care of the kiddo, who is napping for 3 hours : )

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