Jun 13, 2013

The Deck

So exciting! The deck material for the atrium terrace has arrived! And the timing is perfect - the sunny summer weather just makes you want to spend time outside, so the motivation to complete the atrium terrace is rather high. Just like the laundry room trilogy, the atrium project will be a series of three, and we are excited to tell the first part!

Like declared previously, we are pretty much 100% wood people. Wood as a material is very inviting, with its pleasant looks, texture and smell. Indeed, there are very few materials as Scandinavian as wood. However, when designing the terrace deck, we soon realised it would be smart to consider other alternatives besides wood. First, one of the downsides of wood is that it needs to be treated every year. Considering the stress caused by rain and harsh winters, and the low likelihood of our eagerness to commit to annual care, wood really would not survive that long. Additionally, as our little daughter is currently moving around on 4x4 mode, we wanted to minimise the time used removing splinters from her hands and knees.

UPM ProFi composite

So, after some research we found out about composite - an intriguing alternative for traditional wood. It is important to emphasise composite is neither plastic nor wood, but rather an alternative, completely new kind of material. Quite soon we also learned that all composite producers have their specific blends, and thus the properties of each composite is a bit different. So we had a bit of a challenge - if one composite is different from another, how do we make the right choice that best matches our needs?

Eventually, we decided to go with the UPM ProFi. And why? First and foremost, once installed ProFi is pretty much care free. Second, it is available in several different colours. Remember how Pekka is pretty picky regarding the color palette of our home, and this gave him possibility to choose from different options. Third, ProFi has a closed surface, which means that if there is an unfortunate spill of e.g. oil from the barbecue (which is the next item on our wish list), the oil won't be absorbed by the material, and you can just wipe the mess off. This is a clear advantage when compared to the other composites in the market.

Which color do you prefer?

Before we could begin the installation the terrace, the original tiling needed some serious prework. On top of and in between the tiles there was a thick layer of moss from the past years which we didn't want to just hide underneath the deck. Down on his knees, it took Pekka two days and three steel brushes to scrub off all the moss and other organic stuff.

Off with the moss

Over the weekend, we had invited over some relatives to celebrate our daughters first birthday. Quite conveniently, some of them were smoothly integrated to the renovation process, the major contributor being Pekka's father Kari. He is currently finalising their brand new house, and thus has a pretty impressive selection of tools, which obviously were really helpful in this project as well. We probably would have managed just with the local resources, but Kari's help, expertise and tools were warmly welcomed and thus we owe him our sincerest thanks!

Right tools for the job

After prepping the tiles it was time to start the installation of the deck. The warm summer day naturally provided a great excuse for a few installation beers, which are always a foundation for a good teamwork for Kumpula & Son. As thermal expansion was known to be a feature of ProFi, the team made sure to take it into account both in measurements and working conditions.

Kumpula & Son at work.

In every project, someone needs to be in charge. And yes, this task was naturally assigned to Urho. At this point, the lengthy little sausage seems to have a great confidence on his team, as he did not chose to do so much observing, but rather relied on the haptic experience.

Taking just a small break

Actually, Kumpula & Son took some time the previous night to get themselves familiar with the installation instructions. The instructions (including a step by step video) on the UPM's site are really clear and straightforward, and describe the process in a logical, easy to follow manner. First, you build a frame. We chose to use ProFi support rails, (the other option being a timber frame) and surprisingly quickly - only in half a day - the supporting frame was in place.

ProFi support rails in place

This was a good time to take a little break, and focus on birthday celebration for a while. As by the end of the day, the first two boards were already in place, Urho thought it was time to perform the first quality check. Fortunately he gave the team a green light to continue the next day (to be continued).

What do you mean I'm not taking my duties seriously?


  1. Urho on niin reipas remppareiska!!

    1. Urho on kyllä mainio - ja melko hyvin tähän remppamenoon sopeutunut. Käy aina välillä ihmettelemässä ja jötköttelemässä milloin missäkin, ja ei kavahda sirkkeliäkään. Edellisessä asunnossa Pekka sirklasi parvekkeella ja Urho nukkui puolen metrin päässä, eikä ollut häiriöstä millänsäkään :-)