After spending the past two weekends with multiple trips to the hardware store and back, I'm really excited to present the result of our planning and hard work.
To avoid cutting any wood, we decided to buy pieces that we could join in the middle atop a level platform. We built the first platform two weekends ago - keeping it level with a series of "shims" made out of roofing shingles. Upon finishing that section, we decided to go back to the hardware store for more wood, since the second platform would have to be raised higher off the surface than the first, hopefully avoiding the use of so many shingles.
Once we build the platforms, we laid down each deck tile, piece by piece. Each of them is 1' x 2' and they easily snap to one another through the use of a zipper-like set of rubber grippers on the edges. 5 panels across and we have the entire width of our area basically covered.
Here's the step-by-step of how it proceeded...
I can't take too much credit here - John was quite the project manager but I did help by making about 1,000 "shims" and offered a lot of moral support. To be honest, my allergies were absolutely killing me and aside from doing a lot of nose blowing and setting up music, I was just in the way.
Totally loving the planters in the last row. Check out this tutorial for a complete how-to.
We've had the opportunity to eat outside a few times and are really loving the results so far. I'm incredibly proud especially of all of John's hard work. Without his planning, this would never been possible
P.S. Yes, I know, I don't yet have any photos of the full deck covered yet. Be patient... they're coming soon!