Last night I stained the stairs and the top portion of the deck, and the deck is officially done! It looks great, and it's really nice to be able to run out barefoot (barefooted?) without fearing what you're stepping on. In the past few years, we've gone from this:
Right? Amazing! There's still plenty of work to be done - the walkway needs to come out, there's still some grass to be replaced, I need to do something with the railing and paint the little door - but the deck is done.
I brought the decking up the stairs (evening out the stairs in the process), and covered the upper concrete "patio" with cedar as well.
There were lots of amusing interim steps (pictures are on the Tumblr site, http://ahousegrowsinbrooklynblog.tumblr.com/) - cutting a stringer for one side of the stairs, figuring out the blocking for the rest of the stairs since there wasn't enough room for another stringer, Home Depot being out of lumber two times in a row when I went for more cedar, causing me to have half of each step done on July 4th, meaning tipsy people were dealing with tiny stairs... But at the end, there have definitely been more frustrating projects, it looks great, and I've already gotten to apply all my lessons learned to fence and deck for a friend. Onwards!