Deck Plans!

I’m having computer problems that are making blogging extremely slow and difficult. And I’m having a very difficult time picking out a new computer. I actually ordered one from Amazon, but then it got here and Abe’s room looked weirdly day-glo green on it, and no amount of tinkering would fix it, so I sent it back and now I’m stumped. Either I’m stumped or I need to suck it up and get a MacBook. In fact, I have one sitting in an online cart right now, but it’s so expensive! I don’t know what to do! Sorry. That has nothing to do with today’s post. Except that I’m about to bring you this post despite my current computer’s death throes because it requires only a few ugly photos, so editing them did not tax my poor dying computer too much.

We’re finally going to rebuild our deck! FINALLY. We decided it would be a great idea to wait until a month before we leave for our ginormous cross country road trip to start this project. So I don’t know how much is getting done before we leave; I suspect a lot of the decorating parts will be waiting until fall, but I do want to have a safe, functional deck and porch to leave behind for our house sitters.

Here’s what we have right now:

It looks like an old, crappy deck that you wouldn’t want to put a whole lot of weight on, right? Because that’s what it is! But the frame underneath is still nice and solid, so we’re going to salvage that part and redo the posts and the floor and railings.

We went back and forth for a long time about whether to do this ourselves or hire someone. But ultimately saving money (plus the fact that this is the kind of project Dave actually enjoys doing when he can find the time for it) won out in the end.

We were originally thinking we’d keep those supports on the corners and then just add a new one in the middle where it’s kind of saggy looking. But then Dave (and our neighbor Bruce, who is helping out with advice and tool lending for the project) gave everything a closer look and decided those posts weren’t really in the best shape after all and the whole support system should probably be replaced.

So see the supports back behind the front posts? Under the covered porch part of the whole thing?

Those look nicer. (Especially if you ignore the weeds (mostly it’s ivy, which I think I’m okay with for now, but the weeds and assorted vines need to go) and the giant pile of scrap wood down there. Much like the weeds, the pile of scrap wood will be leaving). Current plan is to duplicate that kind of support at the front of the deck and take down the old posts (in that order, so the deck doesn’t collapse).

You can see in the first photo that there’s a weird gap between the deck and the sunroom. Back when we were going to hire someone else to build the deck, we were going to expand it to close that gap. But that seems like too ambitious a task for a first time deck fixer upper, so that will wait for another time.

The repaired deck will likely look a lot like the current deck only less likely to collapse. Mostly we just want to keep the grill and a table and chairs and some plants out there–nothing too elaborate (at least not for now).

But then we also have the covered porch adjacent to the deck, and I want to get more creative and ambitious in there.

Boring deck on one side:

Exciting covered porch on the other!

It’s not exciting at all right now. It’s a mess. When we moved in, this was a screened porch, but the screen was in terrible shape, and we eventually decided to rip it all down and just have a porch with a roof but open to the outside otherwise. Screen porches are nice and all, but we already have a sunroom right next door, and I liked the idea of opening up the space to the deck more, particularly since the deck itself is so small.

I still have only the beginnings of a plan out here. I’d really love to get the floor painted or stained before we go out of town, and I have some small hopes that we might also get the rest of the frame and the ceiling painted or stained as well. I’m thinking green, since we’re stuck with the yellow siding for the foreseeable future (and also because I want most everything to be green lately). The ceiling fan will be replaced. A rug or rugs. Maybe some storage for outside toys (this can also go in the garage, but marginally more convenient in here). I’m thinking I’d like to build a banquette–L-shaped bench seating in the corner against the house and a table…but I’m still considering. But I’m excited to finally get started, even if it’s hard to see the end at this very hectic moment. Our outdoor space has so much untapped potential. Let the tapping begin!

Also, here’s my angel sheepdog doorstop that I still love, even though he got rusty. Closest thing to a pretty picture I have today:


Deck Plans! — 11 Comments

  1. I think(?) you did a post about your moms A-frame cottage where i saw her 2 dog statues that are exactly like the one i have, And, I also have the very same metal dog as you do. Look at my current “Valentines day at the farmhouse” post and you will see it. How funny that your mom, you and i all have the same dog statues. And while i originally purchased the dog doorstop in original perfect painted condition I set it outside to get rusty on purpose. I now love the patina on it and it is one of my fav pieces.

    Good luck on your deck and have a wonderful trip –

    • yep, that was me! That’s so funny (and of course my mom’s the one who gave me the little sheepdog)

  2. We also need a new deck….the scary part is that my husband, who is not a skilled do-it-your-selfer, wants to do it himself to save money (we are retired with a very fixed income). He once did a beautiful job of wall shelving for one of our sons bedrooms, measuring ever so carefully, painting ever so carefully to match the walls, etc. However, when I stood back, it was slightly crooked. When I mentioned it to him, he said “Oh, that’s just an optical illusion.” So for as long as we lived in the house, my son’s head would be at a slight tilt, looking for the book he wanted to read. I’m afraid that I could have a deck with an “optical illusion” for the rest of my life and I could be walking at an angle! Last summer he built me a small raised vegetable garden, measuring ever so carefully, ordering the soil, etc. I thought it was amazing, until I went to the back and saw that it was rather bowed on one side. I did not mention it as it was built for me with love. I think we need to have some more gentle discussions regarding the deck, as it also need supports.

    From Brockville, Ontario

    • haha! Dave has some issues with measuring, too….hoping he gets them sorted out for the deck project, because I don’t want a crooked deck either 🙂

  3. Wow, I’m impressed you’re taking it on yourselves! I totally went the easy way and hired a pro 🙂 Can’t wait to see what you do!

  4. Looking forward to see how it goes! I feel like (but I might be clueless, ha!) that the support would be the trickiest part — so if that is in good shape, it’s probably much easier!

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