All decked out

This is a picture of the corner of our massive back deck. In the last couple of months it has decided to spontaneously fall apart. Not only are all the boards popping up, but the support structure underneath seems to be disintegrating. To walk across it is a little like a walking across a trampoline for a small person and for a large person it’s like participating in some kind of Japanese TV show where you may be plunged through the boards to certain injury at any moment.

We had a guy come out to give us a quote for the replacement last week. He hummed and haahed and told us that it isn’t going to be cheap and hummed and haahed some more until we asked for a rough guesstimate to which he replied “well, a job like this can keep changing as we go, but I would say around $15,000.”


Hear the sounds of our jaws dropping, see our skin pale and start to perspire. Watch as we reel and gag.

When it was clear that Big-P and I are going to find it very difficult to spend $15,000 on a replacement deck, the builder started to jump up and down on the worse bits to demonstrate just how dangerous the existing deck is and just how dire a replacement is needed. He was not a small gentleman and I was seriously worried that he was going to go straight through and we would feel obligated to him to not only pay damages but hire him to build something close to a sea-going vessel all around the back of our house.

So he left promising to call us with an official quote. And he hasn’t – I guess we looked like a lost cause. And now? Of course we will get at least two other quotes. Presuming they all end up in the same realm, we are thinking it might be easier to remove the deck and reclaim the garden. This is a a daunting yet inspiring prospect. Actually it’s complete madness I’m sure, but surely cheaper than paying someone to replace the deck, and surely less harrowing than attempting to build a deck ourselves.