It is officially summer and this summer is better than ever! I have wanted to tackle our dock project for the longest time and now I can say it was worth the wait. The original dock was over thirty years old and it had stories to tell but it was more than time for a new book to be written.
While the nostalgic road is always my more preferred avenue, this time not so much! As you can see from the bottom right of the picture, we had nails popping out, splinters larger than our limbs, and slippery sections of boards that would not be conducive to happy endings.
Two of my favorite (and oh so talented) men listened to me relentlessly carry on and on about the dock but we had to wait for a calendar opening so that they would be able to do it. Waiting is not one of my virtues, but for them I practice it because I know they will make my wishes come true. Meet Wade and Josh in these photos and you too will agree it was worth the wait.
The biggest new helper to the team is Josh’s sidekick Maggie … short for Sweet Magnolia Brown. I am not sure who enjoyed the project more but I am thinking between myself, Wade, Josh, and Maggie that Maggie is the clear winner.
Dock demolition was a big job. We kept the original footprint and fortunately we did not have to replace any of the foundation pillars. Thank goodness they had a Gator ATV to haul all of the old boards up the hill- if not for that little doozie I don’t believe we would’ve had such happy campers on the job!
After demolition, the guys continued to make this project their own adventure and later in the evening I received these texts and pictures. Boys will be boys!
While they demoed I was deciding on the replacement boards. My good friend Everett (Options by ET) was on hand to help make the big decision. As always, he had an immediate choice but I had to weigh all of the options and look at them during morning, mid-day, and dusk hours. A couple of different companies had what I wanted and while their colors were similar they varied just a tiny bit.
Ultimately, my goal was to have the dock blend into the water as much as possible. I did not want for people to look at the view and comment how great the dock looked. Always the highest priority is the lake and Mother Nature. I always strive to compliment nature- not to take from it or distract from the true God-made beauty.
I do believe that the boards we ultimately went with accomplished that mission perfectly. The winner was Fiberon Protect Advantage Decking in Gray Birch. It has a 25-year stain, fade, and performance guarantee which is great time and maintenance-wise. And yes, Everett’s first choice was the one that was ultimately used!
Back to the guys and Maggie, you will see they had company viewing their work in progress. The lake we live on has a very active rowing community and the rowers were also enjoying the project. I do believe Wade and Josh may have flexed their muscles just a bit more when the rowers came by to show off their manly-man skills!
As always, the finishing practical touches are necessary. The plumber (Eli) had the greatest idea of adding a water source to the end of the dock by the boat. “Wallah” we now can clean the boat without dragging hoses a million feet. Eli is my husband’s hero at this point! Then came the electricians who added dock lighting, which is a huge help for the night-time boat rides. We also added two outlets- one right by the boat to plug in a charger and one in the front corner for our Christmas tree. You know you have an army of treasured helpers when every one of them individually confirmed that we would need an outlet for our annual dock Christmas tree!
The two finishing touches are the icing on the cake. The guys built a table for us to match the dock perfectly for future fun times ahead involving food and libations. We have incredible winds that come across our lake and the table is so solid that it will not be going anywhere in future storms.
Then, after searching high and low I found the perfect planter. It also had to be heavy in weight for future winds and I did not want a color to compete with the lake water. I found it at our local Espositos garden shop, as well as the century plant which is perfect for strength and drought resistance. Truly with this summer heat we could all use a little century plant traits within us. When my dear and talented photographer Amanda came to capture the end results she said it looks like a pineapple. She was right and I absolutely love it!
An unexpected visitor this week quite surprised Tom, who you have also met in previous stories also known as Mr. Grass Magician. While the picture is a bit fuzzy, you can bet the experience was not in the least bit fuzzy for Tom in real life. Laying under the dock while he mowed beside him was our newest visiting alligator. He shall forever now be called Mr. Charlie (or Miss Charlene) and was between three and four feet long. While we are accustomed to living with alligators in our waters we are still surprised when they come onto land. I am thinking he/she appreciates the new dock too!
Toasting the completion with my neighbor and girlfriend Michelle was the ultimate grand finale. We have already broken in the dock with summertime fun but I do believe we have many many chapters to write of future waterside stories. Would love to have you join us!