This will give you an overview of how to make a sturdy wooden deck inside your apartment. Yes, you read that right, *inside your apartment*. We didn't have enough common area space, so we decided that this was the way to get more - build a deck out over our entry stairwell. It was really wasted before, so just like the wetlands in the Bay area, we "reclaimed" some space....
Step 1: Rule #1: Get your roommates to do all of the hard work
That's Nathan, chiseling a piece to fit. And in the second picture, he's attaching 2x8 boards to the 2x8 pieces that we sunk into the wall with masonry bolts. The third shot is from earlier, when we had only attached the 2x8 to the wall. Go Nathan!
The long pieces are hung at the ends with sheet-metal braces.
Step 2: Rule #2 Use 4x4's for vertical supports
These 4x4's are standing on a 2x4 that's screwed into the floor. Screws at a 45-degree angle keep them in place just fine, since most of the force on them is downward.
Step 3: Detail of the 2x8 ends, bolting to the 4x4's
You can see the long bolts, washers and nuts that are used to keep all of the large pieces of wood together
Step 4: Rule #3: Always wear eye protection when using a skil-saw in precarious situations
also, see the other picture for my best Megaman end-level boss impersonation.. It's SAWMAN!
Step 5: The nearly-finished deck!
You can see the plywood covering the rear part. It's 5/8-inch, which is pretty strong. We cut an odd-shaped piece of the plywood to extend all the way to the front too. The roll of carpeting was also cut to size, to fit the deck shape.
Step 6: Rule #4: Stain the deck with a dark color, so the landlady thinks it's been there all along
This is critical. If it looks shoddy, you run the risk of having to take it down. However, if you make it look professional, and build it well, you're actually *improving* the place! Tell 'em I told you so.
Step 7: Enjoy the comfort of your new deck
aah, time to relax. wasn't that worth it??!