Now that the gravel has been laid down, it was time to put together the deck frame. Massive thanks to Adam for pretty much doing this single handed. Also, big thanks to my Dad for the re-pointing work and bricklaying. We couldn't have done it without both your help!
Old pic of garden corner before gravel
Before the deck boards go down we'll need another tonne of gravel. This will ensure that any remaining gaps between the frame and ground are filled, which will stop the deck from bouncing when walked on.
I've been concerned for quite a while that there isn't adequate sub floor ventilation in the hallway (musty smell), so decided it was the right time to install some air vents. Having scanned dozens of front doors in the neighbourhood to get an idea of what other people have by way of ventilation, I concluded that our circumstanced seemed fairly unique (couldn't really find other doors with the same type of set up).
As you can see there's a 7" panel at the bottom of the door frame. My assumption was, behind the panel, would be the floor joists and sub floor.
With help from my Dad we removed the panel in the hope of installing the air vents.
To my surprise instead of exposing a sub floor, we discovered that the hallway floor was in fact slightly raised, beneath which was the original stone tiles (not sure why the previous owner decided to cover it).
Having cleared the rubble we began to cut out the door panel to fit the air vents.
It's been a long and tiring battle, which I'm pleased to announce is over...we win! The stump and iron bars are out of the garden, the mound has been flattened, new fence is in, and preparation is underway to construct the decking. The plan was to light a second fire around the tree in the kiln, but that wasn't necessary. The stump had been drilled full of holes to weaken it, and all iron bars cut. Adam split the rest of the wood with the aid of two log splitters and a sledgehammer.