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This Old Cabin


EEtwidget

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Nestled in the San Jacinto mountains hides a sleepy throwback to small town America. Half the population seem to be named Bob, Bob Jr, and sometimes even Richard. Mcdonald’s doesn’t exist nor will you find a Subway. A majority of the population seem to be artist and the rest have conversation of draft days and heroic service. My wife and mother-in-law found this place and soon fell in love with the small town feel and fresh mountain air. So much so that shortly after returning they bought a cabin near town. Buying a cabin wasn’t a total surprise, we have all been talking about how much fun a mountain retreat would be. It was a combination of hard times mixed with good fortune that speed up the decision/action.

 

After the initial ‘cuteness’ wore off, I went to work inspecting the structure. I don’t claim to be a builder but I know enough to be dangerous. One of the first things I noticed was the deck. It’s in very bad condition and pulling away from the house. Below are some pictures.

 

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The weather is turning and we expect lots of rain. Dumped gravel in the parking structure and around edges. Gravel/Rock guy located within walking distance and gathers materials locally. It always feels good to use local sources.

First season here so I'm keeping my eye on water flow. Need to figure something out for the front yard.

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I'm trying to decide if I should attempt to refurbish the old deck or build a new one. The pressure treated frame is loose as most nails have pulled out and joist hangers have inch size gaps throughout. I'm putting together a CAD of the deck and checking county building codes.

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I'm trying to decide if I should attempt to refurbish the old deck or build a new one. The pressure treated frame is loose as most nails have pulled out and joist hangers have inch size gaps throughout. I'm putting together a CAD of the deck and checking county building codes.

Anytime that ive done deck work the more you tare it down, the more damage you find. It's like putting a bandaid on a broken knee, sometimes your better off just starting from scratch.

Jimbo

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You could probably band aid the deck with some new hangers and putting some lag bolts in the Ledger. It's not a long term fix but might give you a few years to get the time and money together to build a new deck.

That's a good point

Jimbo

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If you do rebuild you should consider having the big tree in the middle of the deck cut down. That is way too big of a tree to be that close to the cabin. The smaller tree is ok but not in a great location either.

My buddy bought a house a few years ago that had a black walnut tree with the deck around it, major mess not only from the nuts but the roots causing the deck to become uneven.

Jimbo

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If you do rebuild you should consider having the big tree in the middle of the deck cut down. That is way too big of a tree to be that close to the cabin. The smaller tree is ok but not in a great location either.

If you can convince the girls to cut the tree down I'm game. I think it's easier to keep it though.

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Anytime that ive done deck work the more you tare it down, the more damage you find. It's like putting a bandaid on a broken knee, sometimes your better off just starting from scratch.

Jimbo

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That's what I'm thinking. I want to expand the back deck and its in really bad shape so I'm pretty sure that will be a full rebuild. I might be able to save the front but I'm doubtful

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Picked up a post hole digger and shovel. Digger is about useless with the big rock and boulders.

Decided to use pre made footing with straps instead of poured. I'll still sink the footing and pour some cement.

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Decided to rake and grade the ground around the foundation. Trying to think about water flow before the new deck goes in. Mounding dirt and slopping away from foundation. I'm going to sink some brick & rock and build a few run-offs to help move more water.

While grading I found out the propane pipe is pretty much on the surface. I'll have to dig some more and try to sink that thing a few feet.

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The next tool I want to pickup is the Milwaukee circular saw. I think it would be a workhorse on this build. I don't trust the electrical in this place anyway.

I'm shooting for similar construction to this deck railing:

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I did pick up some of my grandfathers old nail guns & compressor. Nothing too fancy but it is nice working with the same tools he used. He was a finished carpenter who could do more with hammer and chisel then most men could accomplish with the entire festool product line.

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