In the four years that we have lived in our house, we have used the deck maybe four times. That’s just plain sad.
But for good reason….I called it the death trap because at night I would have visions of the kids running into the balusters and falling off the deck, plunging to their demise….or at least a broken neck. This thing terrified me. And yes, I tend to have dramatic flair. But in reality, there were about seven balusters that were completely hanging by part of one nail…which left a gap that a kid of Weston’s size could fit through. And it didn’t take much imagination to believe that Will could bust other balusters out and fall through them during a wrestling fight. Not to mention that there were two balusters that were completely broken, the deck boards were worn and left splinters in everyone’s feet (me and the kids are barefoot people) and then it was just plain ugly and dirty. All my friends make fun of me because when the husbands would have ‘basketball saturdays’, I was the paranoid mama making sure none of the littles were running toward the deck steps.
When my sister got married at our house, we had pressured washed this deck and put up some pretty deck ledge planters but I had stuck by my guns and asked that nobody besides Nornie (she walked down from the deck during the ceremony) was allowed up there just simply because I was scared that some little kid would follow their mommy and fall off. Structurally it is completely sound and we even double checked the flashing (you can see where we pulled down the first layer beneath the double doors) because we heard of scary stories where the flashing had not been installed correctly and then the whole deck collapsed. So our biggest problem safety-wise was the railing.
Years ago we had talked about just replacing everything….decking, rails, stairs, the whole shebang….but honestly, that is a big expensive job and one that we just can’t afford right now with a baby on the way. Then we talked about maybe taking some of the worst decking boards off and flipping them….but when we did some closer inspection, 95% of them were worn and only a few were warped and we decided to not make a mountain out of a molehill. Jeremy thought that if we put in some extra screws, it might pull everything into place and with the exception of two boards, he was right.
So why couldn’t we just stick to the patio underneath this deck? Well, that is now more of a shared outdoor space with the folks that are staying in the basement and as much as we love to share, it seemed a little invasive of their space. There are windows right next to the table down there that look into their main living room….so in the effort of allowing them some privacy, we decided it was probably better for us to be in a separate area….and this was the perfect spot to give a makeover.
So what are the plans exactly?
Well, I am so glad you asked. First, we need to make it safe. That means a baby gate on the top so that we can keep all these boys corralled. Then we need to fix and/or replace and secure every single baluster. That’s a big job because it means that Jeremy will be on a ladder. yikes. a lot. Then we want to add some wood to sandwich the balusters in place….I did a lot of research and no, it is not necessary….but that doesn’t matter….I am a mom of rough boys and I want them to be safe and secure so I win over deck safety recommendations.
We also have this weird top railing situation….it’s that non wood decking boards. I know. It confused us too. But it has got to go. And we want to replace it with just regular exterior wood. Since we will be adding wood top railings, a baby gate and wood ‘security’ boards, I convinced Jeremy to also add some boards to the stairs to make it look like it has finished risers. That should help the over aesthetic of the stairs.
Then once all the wood is added….it becomes a BIG job….pressure washing, sanding, and staining.
That might sound like four little words but seriously…..it equals like a months worth of work.
Home Depot came to us after we had started on the project and asked if we were interested in participating in the Home Depot Patio Style Challenge where we would take our deck and make it into a stylish and livable space. I could not scream YES into my computer fast enough. I knew that this would be just the motivation I needed to get the deck finished. I tend to struggle with finishing things. Laundry room….I’m so sorry.
So after I post about our deck fixing process, I hope to share with you a pretty space that is fun for our whole family. Here’s what I have in the ole idea bank….
As a thank you for participating in the challenge, Home Depot provides a patio set so we got to go shopping on their site and I went IMMEDIATELY to the Cane Crossing collection. I wanted a darker rug that was really versatile so I talked Jeremy into a dark brown trellis rug and I think it will sort of blend slash disappear into the dark stain that we are putting on the deck boards but still add a little extra cush for my toes. Then I asked Jeremy to build me a couple tall planters (he is working on them this weekend and they are looking amazing so far. I am so impressed that I can show him a photo and he figures it all out. Oh and spoiler alert…these planters cost us like $20. Not a joke. You will be in awe.) I also want to do some mossy vertical art piece….it will be free-ish and easy….my kinda project. I found some fabrics at a discount place so I plan to sew the little pillows for the patio set and then I found an elephant at the thrift store that I need to spray paint . Overall….it should be very eclectic and cool and comfortable place to chill in the afternoons with my babes.
Just prepare yourselves because next week will be deck week! There is still a ton to do, so I better go start sewing those pillows. Wish me luck and long naps!!!
p.s. if you are interested in wasting some time looking at beautiful deck projects, go check out the Home Depot blog….they have already started posting fellow Patio Style Challenge participants and their finished outdoor spaces are looking AMAZING. Happy weekend!