Welcome advice and ideas
Then I had a call from our consultant Brian, who listened to the options and said that his main concern was getting through an inspection, and moving away from the specified timber schedule could be a problem. We do not want to redo all of our rafters if inspection failed! He said that dropping the deck would work but then had another idea. It goes like this - the problem is with the beam height, not the rafter height so we could get around this by setting the steps into the deck. This would have the additional feature of getting the steps undercover of the roof. I liked this idea but Natasha still had two concerns. On the north side (back door, sunny area) we were going to lose deck space from doing this. Also, the low positioning of the beam will mean less winter sun and less view. Now that is indeed an issue.
So we talked about it and came up with a reasonable compromise. Take Brian's idea for the south side, which is more of an front entrance than a sitting area, and completely replace the posts on the north side. This means we still have some new timber required, but at least one post can be reused and recut and all of the beams can be refixed in exactly the same spot. This means precision measuring when we put the new posts in. Ooo yes that will be fun! So there you have it, a way forward.
Meanwhile I have continued to work on rafters, having put on every rafter not involving a beam and the hardest and more precarious rafters on the south side, one of which was nearly 10 metres long. Of course I carried this by myself around the house (seefootage)and got it up several metres on to the framing. It wasn't a fast operation either. There was a lot of manly grunting and educated sounding "hmmmm"s as I tried power then thought to get this rafter on. By the end of Thursday I felt like I'd been at the gym all day. It was up but not quite attached. It was heavy enough to not be going anywhere and as I had somewhere to be I had to leave it for the next day.
On Friday I finished off that big rafter. As we were now certain of our plans for the north and south verandas I set about finishing off the posts and beams. I have been troubled by the fact that one post was too far away for our beam to reach. I had considered getting a longer beam but then I re-read the specs and it said that a span of over 3600mm would not be acceptable. So I had to pull out the post (feeling like a competitor from the Highland Games), the biggest of the lot mind you, redig the hole and reset the post closer to the next post. More grunt work and wise cleverness, actually not much cleverness as I've got some practice at this sort of thing now. I got it in position, got it level, braced it and filled the hole back in. Then I got the beam on and bolted it to the post. So by the end of the day the beam for the south side was complete. Which opens up the possibility of doing all rafters on the south side of the roof.
This has left me with lots to do now, which is a good feeling, I can work away at the posts on the north side when I want and just do rafters the rest of the time. There is no urgent need for new timber, so I'll be able to be particular and reuse anything possible and do it all sensibly. Yes it's all very sensible!