Four years ago, when we bought this house, it came with a large front deck and a paver patio. Without adjectives, both spaces sound lovely. I’m sure the paver patio was beautiful, but the lack of maintenance, weeds, and tree roots took a toll.
Replacing windows and siding was a priority, but before that could happen, we had to excavate a foot of dirt back here, build a low deck, and only then could we hang siding. In home remodeling, each project seems to hinge on another aspect being ready. Though we didn’t want to tackle landscaping first, it did give us a baseline to seamlessly transition siding.
None of that is new, and has been featured several times before. But, there’s another deck that hasn’t been shared since move in, until today. Before getting into the afters, here’s a look at the condition the front deck was in when we took ownership:
In a word, woof. The railing that was so far from code/safety requirements, benches along the edge were uncomfortable and took up useful space, rotting/spongy joists, and splintered deck boards didn’t exactly make this space enjoyable. It certainly had potential, but thanks to other more important projects, we just got around to rebuilding it last summer. Due to the technical aspects, this isn’t a deck building tutorial. Rather, it’s the kind of television makeover before and after without the work, sweat, and wait-surprise!!
Clearly, a lot has changed. Everything, in fact.
We completely demoed the structure, rebuilding to meet or exceed code standards to ensure longevity.
Update: A reader emailed me, wanting to similarly cover an outdoor space, asking if/how much light the solid roof blocks? Since others might have the same concerns, here’s my answer and our rationale why covering the deck was worth it. This entire deck fronts the pool house, not our normal living space. Since it is a pool house, it has 8 skylights, normal windows, and four sliding glass doors that flood the space with light, so the deck roof hasn’t changed the lighting too much. Yes, it’s a touch darker, but totally worth the added usable outdoor living area and not becoming the human version of a roasting marshmallow. That said, I don’t think this is the perfect solution for all outdoor spaces. Before adding a cover, consider the size and orientation of the windows/doors and the room(s) it will potentially darken.
Redwood deck boards are smooth and splinter free, the railing is not only safe, but offers more privacy, not only to the deck, but the (currently nonfunctional) pool inside. At 36 inches tall, the railing still doesn’t block the city/mountain views. Instead, it hides just the street and houses across, even when seated because our house is on a steep hillside. Thanks to the southern, full sun exposure, we decided to add a full roof, keeping the area as cool as possible. When we swapped the dining door placement, we created a four-foot wide walkway off the front.
Over the long weekend, thanks to awesome sales, we picked up two World Market sofas (only $204 each!!) to create a comfortable lounge/seating area. Until this point, this 900 square foot deck housed two grills, the bench in the background and that’s about it.
Last year, while we were rebuilding the deck, I started my search for outdoor furniture and came across a pair of linear wood frame chairs:
That screenshot has been on my phone for nearly a year, and for the life of me, I cannot remember the source. But, I do know that I was instantly smitten, and wanted the same look. Imagine my surprise when I was wandering around World Market and stumbled upon the Praiano set. At $400 per sofa, it wasn’t a bad price, but I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. Fortunately for me, my patience pair off and I struck when the price dropped to $239.99 plus a 15% off coupon.
After patiently waiting a few months, I became impatient and bought, assembled, and lounged within 24 hours of getting the coupon in my inbox.
Those sleek lines have my heart.
And closely resemble the railing. Haha, I guess I have flock to a distinct style.
The cushions are firm, but not uncomfortable. However, the arms need some cush, so I pulled some indoor pillows from the linen closet to soften the hard wood frame.
For additional greenery, I added two potted Arborvitae trees in the corner of the center bump out. The green seems so much more vibrant against the dark gray siding.
I’m still trying to track down chairs to round out the grouping, since these are standing in from our old, seen-better-days patio set.
Then there’s this sad, mostly empty corner. Again, these pieces are standing in until we have time to build a dining table.
Ben and I have differing visions/layouts for the deck. Mostly because he’d love to build an 18 foot long Last Supper style table to take place of the current lounge area.
While I think that’d be really cool, I think we’re better off putting this corner to use as an extension of the adjacent indoor dining space. Adding an overhead fixture to this area would also be pretty easy with the attic overhang and access. Time will tell, but I’m thrilled to have a cozy place to escape the house to enjoy a book.
Oh, and the deck desperately needs a good wash to get rid of the dust and pollen. In the above photo, the darker area between the furniture is the real color.
Eventually, we want to ‘build in’ the gas and charcoal grills to hide the stands for a polished look.