I think all of us can agree that sometimes taking time off from the job can actually lead to more work than if we had actually gone into the office. I recently took about two weeks off. It was split about half and half between work and pleasure. The first portion was dedicated to play in that I went to Chicago but the last half of my time off was definitely dedicated to work around the house.
There was some routine cleaning and such but the most labor intensive project was the construction of a utility deck. I call it a utility deck because it’s not really a gathering place where folks would sit and converse and what not. It was built primarily as a place to put the cooker and will probably also host a deck box that will be the home of gardening utensils, sprinklers and things of that nature.
I have to say that the overall experience was both vexing and rewarding at the same time, As with most things in life, we generally don’t appreciate those things which come easily half as much as we do those which require a little strife or sacrifice. The structure is not complex by any means. In fact it is somewhat rudimentary, but I have to say that I am still a little proud of it. It had been quite some time since I had undertaken a construction project of any type.
The project went pretty well. I’m not going to lie to you, there are some imperfections. Most of these are minor blemishes, but there are a couple that stand out. And if you look with enough scrutiny, they aren’t hard to find. I never expected it to look as nice as a deck built by people who do this every day for a living, but it works for me. The simple design in which we see the perfect marriage of form meeting function was certainly achieved so I have no complaints there.
I think the most positive attribute of this project was not the creation of a deck in and of itself, but rather the fact that it has wetted my appetite for future building projects which have been in the far recesses of my mind lying about as dormant as they could without actually perishing. I definitely have a couple of projects in mind for the fall when it’s not quite so hot.
In fact, I’m looking forward to these endeavors so much that I have actually caught myself lying awake at night wondering about their design and dimension. They’re not major projects by any means, quite the opposite if the truth be known, but I am constantly thinking of them and at times find myself a little distracted from day to day events simply by the eagerness to get started.
One of the things I’ve learned from the past is that knowing when to start a project, and when to postpone, is just as important as the design and materials to be used. I’ve learned that I never want to begin something that I won’t have the time or resources to complete because once I stop work on something I often find excuses as to why I should not resume. Because of this, over the years, the backyard has served as a sort of museum paying homage to unfinished projects.
Just like with anything that shows tangible proof of progress and completion, I think this deck building project did more for me than I ever thought it would. While it won’t garner any design or construction accolades, I think it serves not only its original function, but so many more.