The One with the Deck


We’ve spent the last two months-worth of Saturdays working a big outdoor project and I’m excited to share a sneak peek with you today. (I can’t wait any longer!) We are re-doing our deck!

First I should probably rewind.

Our house already had a deck. With the exception of some damage from a big tree that fell a few years ago, it was in decent shape. I wasn’t in love with the red color, or the “walk the plank” concrete walkway we had patched up to get to it. But it was perfectly sufficient for hosting a great number of barbeques overlooking our perfectly manicured backyard. (Delusional.)

Here’s a before shot to jog your memory:



You might notice in this pic we also re-sided our house this summer!  Never a dull moment in these parts.

The problem we were facing wasn’t with the deck… it was with an old, crumbling, lawsuit-waiting-to-happen stairwell that was built into the hill of our backyard. Unfortunately it was acting as a retaining wall, so we didn’t feel great about trying to remove it entirely. And hiring a stone mason was going to cost us some big bucks for something, frankly, we didn’t even want.


After pricing out a lot of different options, and brainstorming of all the different ways we could try to fix the stairs, we decided to put the money towards something we’d really enjoy and would add resale value to the house – a new deck! We left the crumbling stairs just the way they were, and extended our deck so it covers them up – bye-bye problem!

(We will definitely make sure to clean up the stairs under the deck once we’re finished. Safety first!)     deck5

Since our existing deck was perfectly fine, we just ripped off the top decking boards (which another worker at our house ended up taking to build his kids a tree fort with – yay recycling). We brought in the pros to build the joists and extend the structure. I never thought our deck was small, but now that we’ve doubled it in size it feels huge!



I covered all the old joists with flashing (it’s like tar paper) to prevent water and ice from getting into the nail holes from the old top boards.

Then we started the top!


For the last many Saturdays Moose has been out there laying decking – sometimes with the help of some selfless friends (you know who you are) and sometimes with me. The reason it’s taken us so long to finish the decking is that we decided to use a hidden-screw method. It looks great! But it’s pretty time intensive.

We also decided to do a picture frame border, which you can see in this picture below:


The tough part is almost done – then we will have the facings and railing to do. Once our patio (yup – another post that’s coming) is in we will have the staircase structure built and then finish the steps.

You can see in the photo above we’re doing a two-tone white and gray deck. It will end up looking like this inspiration photo with the color combo we chose:


I’m hoping we will finish it in time so we can squeeze in a few outdoor autumn dinner parties before it gets too cold out – we have a lot of people we need to thank!


5 thoughts on “The One with the Deck

  1. Ahhh! Looks so good! I love the color combo you chose 🙂 I love how broad the new deck will be as well. Are you going to put in a seating arrangement like the one in your inspiration photo?

  2. Hi. Thanks for sharing your experience. Can you tell me what material you used for the decking and how it’s working now? (Would you recommend the product?)

  3. Hi John, thanks for commenting! We used the Veranda traditional composite decking boards from Home Depot. We love it! It’s been over 2 years now and it’s held up great. It will fade a little in color in the first year (which they tell you upfront). We are very happy with our decision.

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