Well, a deck became an outside room, complete with fire pit. And everything had to match the house, therefore there were big beams, trusses, fans and lighting that had to cover the deck.
For help I had my son and the most thoroughly appreciated neighbor in the world. We have been working hard. Most of the heavy lifting is now done. I have learned three very important lessons. First, my son is a great help and an even more great student of construction. Second, my neighbor is an equally good student of construction and an unbelievably loyal neighbor, and third, I am not 35, anymore.
I said the heavy lifting is over. I can't believe how over-specified this construction is. I do believe the new patio can take a direct hit from a 105 howitzer without appreciable damage. It is stronger than the house, and the beams are there to prove it.
We can only work for small periods of time due to other obligations, but we're gaining. We're about half way completed. I will write more when my muscles heal, and I can stay up beyond 7:00.