As you have undoubtedly noted. we have a new deck on the front of the church. Actually, despite appearances, the deck is almost identical to the old one. The old decking material had swollen to twice its original thickness and the posts and balusters suffered from so much water damage that they had changed shape and color. Due to some design flaws, which our current carpenter, Steve James, was able to fix, the deck structure and some of the building structure had also begun to rot.
All of this required more work from our carpenter than we’d budgeted. That said, the extra work was necessary in order to prevent significantly more damage to the church building and to prevent having, in the near future, to replace not only the deck skin, but also the deck bones.
This is unfortunate, and no one likes to spend so much money on what is mostly aesthetics. Two things need to be said. Had we left it even another 5 years, our expenses would have been double what they were, $15,000. And it seems to me, the finance committee and the building committee, that we cannot afford to have a rotting, ugly, and sometimes dangerous entrance to our sanctuary.
The bulk of the cost of repairing the deck/stairs was paid for from the church’s Firm Foundation, which, fortunately had a good year. Our endowment is meant for such things, and part of our endowment is specifically reserved for capital maintenance/improvements.
Below are a few photographs I took last month during the deck demo.