These are the new Muskoka (Adirondack for Americans) that we got about a month ago. I'm building an outdoor couch out of cedar, but we just didn't want to wait any longer to enjoy the deck. The chairs are made out of some kind of wood, I just know it isn't pine, or any other wood that's familiar to me. They're made in China, so the wood is either tropical, or from Russia. I've heard bad things about wood from both of these places. We have them now though, so we'll make them last as long as possible. They're really comfortable, and once we stain them, they'll look even better. We also stripped an old Douglas Fir table that we picked up a while ago, it has 3 coats of Sikkens stain on it, and looks really nice, we'll post pictures of that soon. As you can see, the wall behind the chairs still has nails in it, I've removed and patched most of the wall (it was covered in stucco last year). We were going to put french doors in there this year, we're going to wait until next year though, that way we can save up for the ones we want. So we'll pull the rest of the nails, fill the holes, scrape, prime and paint for this year.
Deb started removing the front lawn, with the sod lifter we got from Lee Valley (it's difficult to use, but works better than just a shovel, we could have rented a gas one, but I'd rather not). We've been transplanting the grass to the back, the healthier parts without the weeds. So I decided to start on the fence for the front. The fence is going to be similar to the one we did in the back along the retaining wall. We used a combination of pressure treated and cedar on the back, we're going all cedar on the front one. We're going to use metal brackets that are designed for fences, so the posts will be all above ground. The brackets come up about 6", and take 2 lag bolts. I used 6" sonotubes, although I think 8" would have been better. We're getting the cedar this week, and I just finished the last 2 brackets last night. Hopefully the concrete will have cured enough by then. I need to pack the dirt a little more around the posts themselves. I didn't do the one closest to the house either, since we still have to do the drainage there, as well as pull off the stucco and the stone. We are going to replace the main water supply as well, since it's still galvanized, and probably almost clogged with rust. We found the shut off buried, when we removed the grass at the front. There is a one foot setback from the sidewalk, although some of the houses have built right to the sidewalk. We're going to put a boxwood hedge by the sidewalk.
Here you can see the string line, and assorted Tonka vehicles in the background. So we should have some fence pictures by Monday. We're also getting the wood we need to complete the deck. We still need to figure out how to do the back existing porch though, I don't want to do torch-on, since it's too dangerous to do yourself. We're thinking EPDM, although I don't know where to buy it yet.