Stephen's Home - Handicapped Accessible Deck - August, 2019

Constructing a Handicapped Accessible Deck on Stephen's Home
August, 2019

Stephen's Home is the product and vision of missionary Alys West. This home provides a Christian family setting to a number of handicapped young men in the general vicinity of Kherson, Ukraine. In August of 2019, I traveled to Ukraine to help construct a handicapped accessible deck onto the side of the house.

The area within the sidewalks is where the deck is to be constructed.

Fortunately, there was help. The current caretaker (Vladimir(?)) jumped in and helped dig the post holes. The ground was very dense clay and hard to dig - most was done manually. The powered post hole digger shown in the picture was harder to use than the manual tools.
Still digging post holes. Shown in the foreground are the re-bar structures that will be put into the post holes.
We manually mixed concrete and poured the pillars for the deck posts. The posts were not buried in the ground, but set on the concrete posts (the lumber is all "raw" wood - treated wood is not available, hence we need to keep it above ground).
We pre-stained and treated as much of the lumber as we could - trying to avoid having to crawl under the deck to do the staining later. This stain is also alleged to be a treatment against bugs and, to some extent, decay.
Main deck posts and bracing going in. There is a plan to put some form of sunshade over the deck when finished, so the exterior posts were left tall.
Again, the framing for the primary deck platform.
The headers for the deck have been installed. The finished deck will follow the curve of the sidewalk.
Joists going in.
Main deck platform fully framed - all joists are in with endcap in place.
The ramp has now been framed. Further brick work will need to be done to bring the sidewalk up to the ramp. Jack, the primary helper on this project is taking a well deserved break.
All framing complete for the deck and ramp. Time for decking.
Jack and I starting the decking of the main section.
Decking the main platform is underway.
The ramp and lower platform are almost completed.
The deck railing going in. This is as far as I got as my time had run out. Jack finished the railing and cut the decking to follow the curve of the sidewalk. A week later was the grand opening for Stephen's House, and the young men started moving in.