The splintery stairs are gone! In their place, we have the beginnings of framing for the new deck, plus holes where the footings will be poured. I believe an inspector must OK the holes before the concrete is added.
I was surprised to see that the deck is only attached to the house in two small areas--both about 2 feet wide, on either side of the breakfast bay. The deck will not be attached to the bay itself, likely because there is no foundation directly below it. We now have two small (1ft x 2ft) pieces of cut away vinyl siding.
Also, as we are still home recuperating from surgery, T-man got a front-row seat for the building process. He is loving getting to observe the process.
I also love the idea of low chairs around a fire pit, but that would probably have to sit down on the patio rather than up on a wood deck. Without fire, we could use the deck for a conversation area instead. I'm also not sure we can trust kiddos near fire, but they aren't babies. So it all just depends on how our existing furniture fits, what furniture we find, and how much we have left to spend after we're done paying for our landscaping adventure.