May 17, 2012
When we moved into our house almost three (!!) years ago, we were no strangers to home improvement projects. I mean, we had essentially redone the entire inside of our first house by ourselves, with the exception of a few larger projects for which we hired help. So painting and replacing light fixtures and updating cosmetic things here and there didn’t scare us one bit. And while the new house was over 20 years newer and bigger and much, much nicer and we were totally in love with it, there were still a few things missing or unfinished or just not exactly how we wanted them.
Number one on that list? The deck.
As you can see, it was pretty lame: nasty, splintery, rotting wood. Many many many little nooks in the railing for many angry wasps and bees to build nests. No steps to the yard. Basically it was a balcony, just big enough for our grill and a table with four chairs, and even that felt squished. We daydreamed for 2 years about making it just a little bit bigger, made with nicer materials, and adding STEPS. Having a way to get into the yard from our deck would be LIFE-CHANGING, we just KNEW it.
But obviously, replacing it was kind of a big and spendy project, especially if we wanted to do it the way we imagined. So we waited (impatiently). Of course the summer we moved in, we were (naively) thinking, THIS SPRING! TOTALLY DOING IT. But then I became pregnant with Audrey so plans and priorities shifted a little bit and life started moving waytoofast and here we are 2 1/2 years later. But finally, finally this winter things fell into place money-wise and we were ready. I brainstormed by making the most incredible digital mockup of all time of our Ultimate Goal, which includes a patio and landscape wall and firepit underneath the new deck (the patio will be a while because that type of project is on a whole different level than a deck, but we wanted to have the whole picture in mind while we were planning this first phase.)
Check out those firepit flames, baby. Awwww yeah. And those fake shrubs? (We have since decided that the firepit will work better on the right side instead of the left, but whatever. It still looks awesome.)
Our neighbors, who are awesome and talented and just happen to do construction projects as a side job, came up with some great ideas and suggestions for us and after some chatting with them, we said LET’S DO THIS THING. They tore the old deck down in mid-April during a snowstorm, worked through 90 degrees, 40 degrees and rainy, and a hailstorm…
And now… it’s all done. And we LOVE IT.
We chose to make everything as maintenance-free as possible (we painted the deck at our old house one summer and ZOMG NEVER AGAIN EVER EVER EVER.) so it’s all composite and vinyl and splinter-free for little chubby kid toes.
And of course: THERE ARE STEPS.
There are still a few very minor things to finish- for example, we’re going to paint the posts white so that everything blends together nicely. But other than that, it’s done. And we’ve actually been able to use it for several weeks, even though they just completed the trim and finish work a few days ago. Most of what they were working on the past week or so was the underdecking- which we didn’t necessarily need to do now since we don’t have a patio under there yet, but we decided to go ahead and take care of it since it’s a little easier to do now rather than later, and also it looks SO NICE UNDER THERE!
Bonus: it makes fun metallic, thundering sounds when the underdecking catches the rain and the girls get a kick out of it. And they maybe love dumping water through the floor on purpose just to hear it. heh.
But most importantly, Maggie loves the steps. She feels they are the perfect place to hang out and put on lipgloss. Naturally.