Once they were all raised and gone, it was time to tackle the balcony.
At first we thought we might be able to scrape and paint this decking.
But it was so very rotten. Dry rot had made some of the boards so weak, they crumbled beneath you. I was worried it wouldn't even hold our weight. But Scott just climbed out there and started yanking off the railing and soon we were left with nothing but a platform.
The planks at the bottom were rotten, too. Especially in the corner where the Robins had nested....hmmmmm. The beams below these planks, however, were not rotted! They were extensions of the beams that run under our bedroom floor and had been protected by a good coat of paint. And though we considered getting rid of the balcony altogether, we decided to rebuild it. The windows in this bedroom come almost to the floor level. They would be dangerous if nothing was left outside. I didn't want any grandchildren falling out of windows!
Fritz agreed. No dogs falling out windows either!
So we started rebuilding! Made a new floor. Added some posts for support. The previous balcony had no corner posts! Nothing to insure that when you leaned against the railing, it didn't just fall right off!
I wasn't thrilled to have Scott working out there with nothing between him and falling to his death on the concrete below...
...or worse yet, falling an additional 12 feet into the bottom of the concrete swimming pool!!
Sometimes I reached out the window and held on to the back of his belt. He didn't appreciate that. But it made me feel better!
Soon, we had railings and balusters.
We put the balusters a little closer together than the previous ones were. For safety's sake!
Balusters were attached from the top---then hung down loosely.
We built it from the top...then had to come and finish it from the bottom. Carefully screwing everything into place.
It's not perfect! I'm the one that held that corner post askew when it was attached....
...but we painted it to match the trim of the house and if I hadn't pointed it out...you might not have noticed!
We don't know if this corner will measure up to Mr. and Mrs. Robin's expectations next year. But we hope so!