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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let's Get Started

The wood has arrived and I’m ready to go. The wood is under wraps due to the inclement weather. We have installed weed barrier and gravel. Erika has been cleaning the deck joists in preparation for stain. I’ll make bench posts out of a couple of hinoki logs. I think the natural log look on the deck will compliment the logs on our home. The deck construction is a little different from what I'm used to. In America, I would have used 2X10's for the joists. The joists would have been attached to a ledger board that was fastened to the house. Not so, in Japan. I'm using the existing joists which are 4x4's. The deck is not attached to the house. Strange as it seems, this is a perfectly acceptable way of building a deck in Japan.

Building anything in Tsukahara is a pain because the nearest home center is in Yufuin. The nearest big home center is in Beppu. It’s important to purchase exactly what is needed because in Japan the item can’t be returned unless there is something wrong with it. This means that any bolts purchased must be the right length or get ready to keep them. In the U.S., I would purchase bolts of various lengths to save a trip. I would have Erika return the unused items. Life is not so convenient in Japan. Careful measuring and planning are the keys to saving time and money.

Flexibility is another important trait  to have when building something in Japan. I’m used to using a particular item in the U.S., but good luck getting it here. Sometimes it’s too much trouble to get what you want. Instead, it’s wiser just to get what you need. George

1 comment:

  1. Hi George,
    I posted on your blog about three weeks ago and I just wanted to say I appreciated your advice on a possible move over to Japan. We are still mulling things over, but I took your useful opinion on board.
    Many thanks and I will be keeping a keen eye on your great blog.
    Mel x