No matter where a home sits, most people want to have an outdoor space for it. A Deck, patio, porch, gazebo…well, most people probably don’t have a gazebo, but you get what I’m saying. Even if they never use them, these outdoor spaces become a must for any home. And for good reason. They raise the property value and enhance the aesthetic. For Sarah and I, we wanted a deck to nearly double the size of our living space.
What Pushed Us to Build
Living tiny can bring about some of the usual suspicions the general public has toward the lifestyle. Yes, we found some too. For us, the big one being claustrophobia. The winter of 2017 kept everyone indoors. Sarah and I found ourselves in the middle of a Pennsylvania winter that saw consistent single digit temperatures for nearly a month. After saying no thank you to any more snow seasons in the northeast, we’ve found ourselves warmly down in the Tampa Bay area. Our campground offers, palm trees, a swimming pool, ample space…even a big oak tree. We love the oak, but hate the fact that it didn’t allow a concrete pad on our lot. Father-in-law Hob also thought a flat outdoor surface was needed, so we turned our want/need into a reality. Here’s how it went.
Hob and I met outside Lowe’s at 8:00 am. He had drawn up a few rough measurements and made a hasty materials list:
- 3 in. deck screws (roughly 100)
- 2 ½ in. deck screws (roughly 150)
- 10 ft. 2×4 (24)
- 10 ft. 1×4 (1)
- 8×4 chipboard (6)
- Unexpected purchase, circular saw
We got a 10% discount and used a gift card. All total we spent just under $200. We spent roughly an hour in the store. All told, it was one of the easiest shopping trips. But would the build be as easy?
The Deck Build
Hob had a plan. One I didn’t want to tamper with, so I followed his lead. We needed to create six separate planks that we would connect together into one large 12×16 deck. We formed a small assembly process. He’d cut all of the wood, I’d screw the planks together. To keep the chipboard attached to the 2x4s, I would use a screw roughly every 18 inches. It was pretty seamless. When we’d finish one plank, we put it in the area we wanted it. Once all six were constructed, Sarah came out and gave her final input to where she wanted the deck to sit.
Hob and I spent the rest of the morning placing the planks on shims at a very slight incline so water wouldn’t sit on the surface. After 4 hours of building, placing, and debating, we had an all-but-complete project. Sarah and I just needed to pick out what material we wanted to cover the surface. A trip to Home Depot and a half hour later, we had a finished product complete with outdoor carpet (roughly a $75 investment for a 12×16 piece).
We’ve done several tiny home improvement projects, but this one by far has been the best we’ve seen to completion. Not only did it add over 100 square feet of living space to our lot, but it’s been a talking point around the neighborhood.