Magazine article Sunset

Their Deck Becomes a Preschooler's Picnic Table

Magazine article Sunset

Their Deck Becomes a Preschooler's Picnic Table

Article excerpt

A pull-out step turns this deck into a picnic table. How? The 114-inch-long step becomes a bench seat along one side of the multilevel deck. Owners Anne and Jim Young of Tualatin, Oregon, scaled it for use by their small children; it's too low for comfortable adult seating.

When not pulled out, the 12-inch-wide step blends with the 20-inch-high deck, giving little hint of its double identity. The only clues are the notches cut in the riser. Two notches are hand holes; others are for 2-by-4 guides mounted to the underside of the double 2-by-6 step.

The pull-out bench works like a giant drawer. At three points along its length are pairs of 2 by 4's that act as guides. They flank short 2-by-12 joists that project from beneath the deck but are not part of the main deck foundation.

As the sketch below shows, the 2 by 12's are blocked between the deck's support posts. The 2-by-6 blocks were toenailed in place; a nailed 1-by-4 rear brace joins the three 2 by 12's. …

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