COVID-19 Hunker-down Log. Stardate 43975.31

Combating boredom. While working on refinishing the deck, I found my disc sander was not holding sanding discs very well. I couldn’t get more than a minute or two out of any of the discs before they’d fly off into the air like a frisbee. Typical sign of a worn disc backing pad. I looked up the replacement part and it’s available, but by online ordering only as nobody stocks these things. Well, that won’t work, I need the sander now, not two or three weeks from now. I’ll be heading over to Home Depot to see what they have in the way of new sanders. In typical fashion, my sander is a 6 inch Rigid model and now most of what’s on the market are 5 inch models, which sucks as I have a good stock of 6 inch sanding pads of various coarseness. I reckon I’ll have to buy a new stock of pads too. It’s supposed to be rainy today, so that will give me a down day, which I can use.

Before I started the deck refinishing project, I asked one of the local contractors to come by and quote me the the job. Trudy was worried that I’d kill myself doing all that work by myself so she signed off on spending some of our mad money on hiring someone to do it for me. Okay, I’ll gave it a try.

The guy comes by the house one afternoon with his partner/buddy/helper and looks at my deck. “You have Deckover on your deck, that crap is impossible to get rid of. You want to ruin your deck, put Deckover on it.”

He passed on doing the work.

Deckover is a catch phrase for a synthetic deck stain that is not all that different from pickup truck bedliner coating. It’s thick, water repellant and very scratch resistant. It holds it’s color quite well and until it starts peeling or chipping, it’s zero maintenance. A typical application, if done properly, can last up to 5 years. I’ve resurfaced our deck 4 times over the years using different variations of this product.

Great, So I got to thinking. The deck is made of redwood and was built sometime in the mid-80’s. Yep, it’s old. But nothing is rotting and all the boards are intact and everything is still quite sturdy. It’s just old. Almost as old as the house which was built in 1980. The deck was first stained using Deckover way back in the day and here it is over 30 years later and in really good condition. I’ve seen wooden decks that were stained natural and maintained not last 10 years in the Colorado weather. This deck is old as dirt and still looking pretty good from a structural viewpoint. The only problem is that I have to refinish it about every 5 years. Seems to me that Deckover has preserved this thing pretty well, it’s still structurally sound and rot free. The biggest hassle is stripping it down and sanding it before reapplying a fresh coating. I could hire someone to rip out the old deck and build a new one, but I’m not quite prepared to drop $50,000 on it.

I have a mindset that I want to keep our house as it was originally built in 1980. We don’t have a “modern” open floor plan with vaulted ceilings and all the other design queues of alpine architecture that is so common in Colorado today. My house is more a product of the era it was built in, and it’s only going to be original once. I’m not going to rip out walls, and punch holes in the roof for skylights. It’s a simple two-story suburban home with plenty of square footage. When you look around town, there’s been a big expansion of renovations in the Denver area with the old homes from 100 years ago. People have gobbled these old, run down homes up and rebuilt them to look pretty much like they did when they were originally built. The neighborhoods with these old restored homes look very quaint and harken back to the early 1900’s when this was the style of home being built here.

1980 is only 40 years ago, but at some point in time, these old suburban homes built in that era will have the same appeal. I’d argue that that appeal is strong now as our home value as has most of the other homes in our 40 year old neighborhood are going up in value compared to some of the other neighborhoods and homes in the area. I’ve decided that I’m going to keep our home in “as built” condition for this reason. When we die, we’ll probably still be living here and we’ll be able to leave a very nicely maintained home to someone in the family and it will be worth quite a bit more than other homes that have been modified and modernized. Your home is only original once. Gonna keep it that way.

So the deck stays. As long as it’s sturdy, safe and not a rotten pile of timber, it’s going to look the same way it did in 1985 when it was built. The cost of covering it with Deckover is about $500 every 5 years. A pretty low price to pay when you think about it. Oh, but that manual labor is gonna bite my ass, and 5 years from now, I won’t be any younger.

Happy thought inventory. Oh boy. I get to buy a new sander today. One of the many reasons I love my wife is she’s always onboard with buying power tools. she’s as big a geek about it as I am.

Supply status. Excellent condition.

Weed inventory. Excellent condition

Laundry status. Excellent condition.

No first-responder activity to report.

The hunkering down continues.

Still alive and well here in Denver.