A lot has happened since then!
First, we created a couple of different deck designs with free online software. We really wanted to make the deck work with the footprint of the house and patio. The old deck stairs covered about 5 feet of stamped concrete patio. We wanted to make that section of patio more usable.
The design we finally decided on had a landing and 90 degree turn on the staircase so that it curved back toward the patio. This shape would work really well with the existing yard. Unfortunately, that design called for a whopping 9 footings!!
We decided to call in the big guns so that we didn't kill ourselves using a handheld auger. Uncle Donnie to the rescue!!
The skid steer was able to drill some of the holes really quickly, but in others, it seemed to be hitting something. It turned out that there were rocks down there... big rocks... a whole foundation of rocks. Neighborhood lore tells us that a farmhouse used to sit on our property. No kidding!
Eric and my dad toiled away, first digging big channels so that they could get at the rocks,
then trying to break the rocks apart (unsuccessfully),
and finally dragging them out. Huzzah!
In the end, we had a lot of rocks - big rocks. Finally we could get all the sono tubes installed.
Eric's mom had fun filling in all the big holes the boys had dug.
Rather than mixing up the concrete ourselves (and undoubtedly making a huge mess), we hired a concrete truck to drop off the mixed concrete.
Cardboard worked pretty slick as a funnel for pouring the concrete into the tubes.
Woo hoo - footings ready!
From there, we bought the supplies and began building.
....Drum roll please...........
Here's the transformation. Before: