we're gonna get decked....

Our landscaping grand plan includes a stage in the back yard:

"Stage?" you ask. Why yes: A stage! All of life is one, you know.

We built a stage at our previous house, which was great fun for poetry readings, speeches, and musical performances. We were even married on that stage. Given the enjoyment we had with that stage, we're determined to have one at this house as well.

For this stage, we plan all those functions and more! Here's the grand plan:
  • We want the stage to be minimal (surprise, surprise...) and to evoke the house. We plan to do that evoking in several ways: 
    • keeping it a simple geometric shape (that is, a rectangle [approaching a square]);
    • building it in such a way that the stage "floats" above the ground (that is, the edges cantilever out a distance, maybe a foot or so; we plan to run LEDs under there to hi-light the flatness at night);
    • choosing decking materials that matches the house somehow, either grey composite to match the gray on the house or sealed cedar that approximates the cypress in the ceiling and eaves [leaning this way...]; and 
    • facing the sides of the stage with 12-inch Hardie plank to match the facing on the eaves of the house. Although the eaves are painted gray, I'm thinking that we'd paint them white. We shall see...
  • On either side of the stage toward its front, we plan to install posts that are the same girth and finish of the Judd picnic table. This evokes the picnic table and the eaves (ties things together...) and allows the stage to serve several purposes:
    • hold lights pointed toward the stage (we already have electric run out to the stage area to powers light and amps),
    • hold a screen between the two posts so if we ever buy a projector we can show movies in the back yard,
    • hold a clothesline, and
    • hold a hammock [not all at the same time....].

I'm not exactly sure where to place the "picnic" posts. Flush with the posts? Slightly behind? Slightly ahead?

The architects were out a few days ago for a magazine interview (stay tuned...) so I was able to get their quick feedback on the stage situation. It's doubly helpful that one's a musician (and one at least looks like a poet...).

So here's where I'm at with the design:

The dark green area at the bottom is the existing lawn of Aggie Zoysia (14 feet wide) and the brownish square (10 feet wide, 9 feet deep) is the proposed stage, which is shown to hang over the lawn by 6 inches (maybe it needs to be more?). The darker brown behind and to the right of the stage is the existing mulch area with the four planned Texas Mountain Laurels. The light brown background is the existing pea gravel. The two small squares are the proposed placements of the 6-inch square cedar posts, the inside corner offset from the lawn and the stage by 2 feet. The medium-sized square in the upper right is a step up to the stage, 3 feet by 3 feet with six inches under the stage (needs to be 1 foot?).

I think this just might work...

Based on their work and reviews on Angie's list, we're looking at Austin Deck Company as the potential contractor.

We want the deck to "float". For example:

via here.

Some info on floating decks:

Floating decks.

Floating a step.

Island deck.

The Depot on decks.

As well as this hilarious piece written by a code-bot on how to build a floating deck.

Stay tuned...

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