Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sunny Side Up

With the railings installed and only a little painting to be done, the new Sundeck is finally open! Thankfully we are still experiencing sunny and warm weather this fall so that the students (and their sunshine-addicted house mother) can enjoy the new space.

The Sundeck (also known to the construction workers as the Party Deck) was constructed over the "flat" roof above the new dining room. Actually, the roof has a very gentle slope to facilitate the runoff of water that would collect on a truly level surface. Study the picture below and you can see how the beige horizontal beam just above the top row of siding (and just under the gutters) is much taller by the brick than it is at the outer corner of the addition. It's cleverly disguised - but now you're in the know!

The deck area itself is level and made of a pre-treated, water-resistant lumber that will prevent warping and water damage without the hassle of yearly or bi-yearly staining/waterproofing. It's a very low maintenance product and it looks great. It's practical for this setting - but definitely not cheap at around $50/board.

One of the most common questions I get is "Why is only half of the roof surface a usable deck?" In the picture below, you can see that the deck is divided into two parts by a railing. One side is covered by the deck lumber and the other side is just the exposed rubber roof. Building and fire safety codes stipulate that, if there is only one point of egress, the maximum capacity for this type of space is 50 people. At one square foot per person, and with only one way to exit the space (the entry/exit door in the second floor hallway), the maximum area that can be occupied on DG's Sundeck is 50 square feet - plenty of space for sunning, relaxing, and escaping the everyday pressures of student life.

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