It’s Deck Week! Are you pumped up like a Reebok shoe right now? Because I am….complete with sweat and that foot smell.
I LOVE having this deck….like a lot….like a whole WHOLE lot….but it’s just simply not fit for our family and we needed to give it a total overhaul. I talked about our master plan last week and I thought it would be helpful if I put out a little To-Do list so that you could follow along on the posts and see exactly what we needed to get done.
DECK TO-DO LIST:
- Remove all furniture
- Pressure wash
- Check the balusters and secure loose/remove broken
- Remove the railing top and replace with pressure treated wood
- Add ‘security wood’ on outside railing
- Build baby gate
- Add risers to the stairs
- Build planters
- Build console table
- Make moss art
- Add in furniture/patio set
- ENJOY! (most important item!)
The biggest challenge with this project will definitely be weather. We need at least two days of dry weather to stain (I estimate it will probably take four days to do the entire deck and railings with two coats). And the deck will have to be dry when we do that which means an additional day of dry weather. Then it needs to have 24 hours to dry before it can be rained on. That means at least four straight days of dry weather….which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t the RAINIEST MONTH OF THE YEAR here in Georgia. So yeah….that might be an issue.
Today we tackle some of the easier things….clearing it all off and then pressure washing.
So you remember how it looked, right? gross with a side of eww. kinda like what I imagine the inside of a Denny’s dumpster might look like…minus the food particles and the putrid smell.
We had moved the rug and underneath it definitely held the moisture making the dark brown dirt patch stand out against the weathered gray and moldy exposed areas.
Here’s a big panoramic shot for you….because my phone is awesome like that….and because I just figured out how to do it correctly and that deserves a photo.
Also…I thought this was interesting….there were four boards that were stained by the previous owners. I don’t know how long ago these were stained (at least five years ago) but you can still tell that they held up better with the stain than without it. Argument of stain vs. no stain – point STAIN.
So before we cranked up the pressure washer, I had Jeremy go out on the ladder and secure all the balusters. I wasn’t about to taunt my kids with spraying water showers and loud machines and not have them be able to come up the stairs. That’s pretty much like catnip to kids.
Then we took turns pressure washing/watching the kiddos. I did the upper part of the deck and Jeremy did the underneath. I definitely had the easier job. Poor wimpy Jer was hurting for days. Just kidding honey 🙂
And because you know how much I love time-lapse, I had to put a little video together for you. Also…you should change the words from ‘shake’ to ‘spray’….it’s my favorite pressure washing song 🙂
Seeing the end result is almost as fun as the actual task of pressure washing. I always swear that it’s one of my favorite DIYs because it’s instantly gratifying.
Jeremy did a great job on the underneath too. It had so much green under there it was starting to look like a salad. A very disgusting slimy mold salad.
And the outer rails looked fabulous too. As you can see here, we took off the top rail….more on that tomorrow!
I know that some folks will be wondering why we didn’t use a cleaning solution and we chose the pressure washer over it. Well, both have their pros and cons. For us, our deck was already splintering and pressure washing wasn’t going to ruin our previous stain job or cause damage that we couldn’t address with sanding. If your deck is already finished and not like walking on a thorn patch, you probably just want to stick to a cleaning solution that you apply and scrub with a bristle brush….if you pressure wash that, you could cause water to push up more wood fibers and make it splinter. I don’t think I could use the solution on the underside anyway because the cleaner has to sit on the surface for a certain amount of time…and scrubbing would be fantastically impossible. So that’s our logic.
And tomorrow we have a post all about buying tons of wood, cutting it and making our deck ready for sanding! Is it weird that I get excited about a safe deck? I am turning into a lame mom, aren’t I? Next thing you know, I will be instagramming pictures of carseat safety recommendations. Wait. Have I already done that?!
That is a huge deck! It will be a great place to hang out this summer once it is all done. We got a pressure washer andy husband became obsessed with it, was wanting to pressure wash everything. He said it was like a big, adult, superhero toy. Men, I was thinking he was crazy, and then I Gabe it a go. I get the excitment! Can’t wait to see the deck come together more!
Debbie W. says
I have a few questions. My deck looks just as bad, if not worse – minus the broken balusters. Do you own the pressure washer? Do you think it is worth the investment to buy vs rent one? Also, my husband was anti-stain and I think it would look better with it or at least a tinted sealer. What are your thoughts on that? (My husband used to take care our deck but sadly he died suddenly from a fall off it about 6 years ago – seriously – and nothing has been done to it since then) Thank you!
Looks better already! I love the results of pressure washing. We almost never needed to pressure wash anything growing up in Illinois, so it was a bit of a shock when we bought a house in the South and learned that it turns green on the shady sides and that everyone down here has to pressure wash their home. The results are so satsifying, though. I always feel like we have a freshly painted white home after pressure washing, but for a wee fraction of the cost! We’re super careful, of course – my Dad actually broke his thumb when his hand slipped into the water stream of a pressure washer – those things are powerful!
Nicole Y. says
Pressure washing it so satisfying!!! after reading your blog post i watched a few YouTube videos of pressure washing hahah!
Jessica Huber says
Totally jealous. That was like watching pressure wash porn. *ahem* I want to pressure wash my patios SO BAD but this darn drought….so my pressure washer will continue to collect cobwebs. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!
Wow, what a difference. When we moved in our deck was painted, which I hate (much prefer the look of stained wood). Do you happen to know if pressure washing would remove the paint or if we will have to sand?
I love pressure washing because of the dramatic (positive) change! Have you thought about adding plexiglass or even chloroplast/polycarbonate panels to the deck side of the walls? Then no little heads/hands/legs/toys will stick out, and you could have an even happier sense of security when your kiddos are on the deck. Plus, there’d be absolutely no footholds for them to grab onto. And, when they’re old enough, you could just remove the panels. Easy peasy. Just a thought!
OMG Love pressure washing decks! It oddly gratifying when you see the before and after! Pretty much pressure washing anything brings me that odd sense of gratification you get when you super clean something!
Bethany Skorich says
HAHAHA! LOL! LOL! “Next thing you know, I will be instagramming pictures of carseat safety recommendations. Wait. Have I already done that?!” You are SO awesome to share your life with us & be willing to take so much “stuff” from so many people! You deserve gold stickers, KB! Thanks for sharing! Best wishes with the deck! Can’t wait to see it!
It looks great after just the pressure washing! Can’t wait to see the end result. We just pressure washed our white house 2 weeks ago and it’s white again instead of a yellow-gray 🙂
It might remove the paint….some pressure washers can do that but they can also damage the wood underneath. It might be best if you did a combo deal…blasted off what you can and then sand the rest.
xo – kb
We borrow our neighbors (it’s super to have such handy neighbors with all the tools we are missing!) and I definitely would buy one if I didn’t have access to one. I am so sorry to hear about your husband…that’s so tragic…but maybe you could do up that space in his memory. I would definitely recommend some sort of stain or sealer….it helps protect the wood from powerful UV rays and keeps the deck cleaner over time. I’ve heard that properly sealed decks can last up to 5-8 years without resealing and they would only require general maintenance and perhaps a cleaning (think spray cleaner on, scrub in, spray cleaner off) every other year or so.
I hope this helps!
xo – kb
seriously…that’s a perfect description! I feel like wonder woman with that thing!
xo – kb
Also our deck wasn’t stained or sealed and the wood bees are HORRIBLE!!! They burrow into the wood and it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them. I’ve heard if you stain and seal the wood they won’t be a problem.
Accurate Mortgage says
Pressure washing is very perfect for home, I cant wait, I need to buy this!
What a difference pressure washing makes! It looks like you have a brand new deck! Also, your time lapse video is so fun. And now I have TSwizzle stuck in my head!
Courtney Madden says
I would not believe that pressure washing makes such a difference if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. Thanks for the video! We’re looking into buying a pressure washer…do you know what model/psi/any other important stats the kind you used was?
Looks great! We have to rebuild our whole porch this summer so I can’t wait to see what you do! I’m bummed that we have to rebuild, but it’s one of the reasons we got a good deal on the house and we get to make it bigger. Woot!
That is an amazing looking deck! I’m actually pretty jealous just imagining how much I’d chill outside if I had one like that! Isn’t pressure washing a deck really satisfying, even if it is pretty hard work? Something about the before and after always makes me happy. Good luck!
Can you tell me where you got those awesome looking planter hangers? Do you line them with moss or put a real planter in them? They are so cute!!! Deck looks very nice btw.
Nawel A. says
My husband and I are seriously thinking about painting/replacing our half brick/siding house and have yet to come across colors we both agree on. Based on the pics you’ve posted recently, I love the color of your siding and doors/frames in the back. Any chance you know what colors (or closely matched colors) they are? I’d love to maybe get a few swatches at our local hardware store to see how it looks on our place. Thanks!
Hi. What a big job! I notice you seem to have a space between your deck and siding. We had a similar thing and over time water got btwn the house and the deck and kapow – dry rot. It was very expensive to fix. We had flashing installed that sealed over the space and deflects the rain onto the deck to drain off. Just sayin.
We have a couple layers of flashing so it might just be the angle of the photo making it look like there is space (there isn’t any). I was even nervous that we would have rotting so we had a deck engineer come look at it and he said it was properly done. I might end up pulling the permits though on it…just to make sure.
xo – kb
The doors are Martha Stewart Seal and then the house colors should be in this old post.
Hope it helps!
xo – kb
I don’t remember where we got them (probably Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes) and then you can replace the liners and then plant whatever you want. I think they are called deck baskets. I could be wrong though 🙂
xo – kb
I don’t know exactly what your needs would be. I think there is a standard model that most brands sell that is for general use. I know our neighbor’s a contractor and he has a higher powered one (that’s the one we borrow) and it sometimes is a little TOO powerful.
xo – kb
Debbie W. says
Thanks for the advice Katie! It seems so overwhelming to tackle, but I’ve put it on the top of my list once the weather is warmer (Philly burbs)