Deck Inspiration: Design, Maintenance and Upgrades

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It’s nearly summer, and that means it’s time to get the deck spruced up for barbecue parties, al fresco dinners, or hours spent relaxing with friends and family. My husband and I have been discussing the idea of adding a deck on to the side of our house or possibly even to the side of our garage which leads to a decent sized yard that we haven’t made much use out of. I have been researching deck ideas and trying to figure out which type of deck or patio would best suit our needs.


Savvy Southern Style

A deck extends your living space, providing comfort and convenience outdoors whether it’s day or night. If you already have a deck, then you probably already know how important it is to maintain it for aesthetic purposes and to ensure that it is safe and sound. Of course you can always take extra steps to beautify it’s appearance and improve it’s functionality.



What is a deck?

Decks and patios join balconies and porches among terms that are often confused with each other and used interchangeably in the context of home improvement. To clarify the differences:



● A porch is a structure on the front or back of your home, supported by columns and enclosed by balusters with a roof over it.



● A balcony is a platform that projects on the second floor, as attached to a room and smaller in size than the porch (think Romeo and Juliet).





● A patio refers to any paved outdoor area for entertainment and dining.




● A deck is an elevated, open platform usually made of wood. You can attach it to your
house or build it independently.


Adding a deck can boost the value of your home. This addition is an improvement project in and of itself, but if you already have a deck, it might be time to give it a thorough inspection and maybe even an upgrade. Here’s how:


Deck Maintenance, Design and Decor

1. Inspect the Deck

No matter how sturdy your deck looks, the years and the elements can cause structural damage. Issues that lurk above and beneath the surface can pose a safety threat, so run a check on your deck and detect signs of possible defects on these parts:
● floorboards
● railing posts and balusters
● loose deck fasteners
● stairs, the handrail and the lowest steps




You can enlist the help of a deck building professional for a more thorough inspection and necessary repairs.  It is  also important to check for any pest problems such as termites or boring insects several times throughout the year.  While some insect issues are minor and can be treated safely with non-toxic treatments, be sure to contact a professional pest control company if you suspect termites or any other significant damage. It is imperative to take care of the structural integrity first before proceeding to do any upgrades.


2. Clean it!

Cleaning your deck at least once a year is necessary for maintenance, especially the floorboards, where grime, mold and dirt may have accumulated over time. Sweep the deck, then use a scrub brush and soapy water to remove stains, then thoroughly rinse.



A power washer is another potent weapon for cleaning wooden decks, but take extra care in doing so as it might damage the wood or its grain.



3. Refinish It

After cleaning you may want to refinish the deck. This process can bring luster or life back to your wooden deck,
and more importantly, add more years to the structure. Inspection and repair constitute another aspect of the refinishing project, as this article noted.


Unskinny Boppy

Sand any areas on your deck with discolored, chipped, or peeling paint. Once the surface is dry and ready, apply stain or sealer or even paint as you see fit. While there’s a debate on which you should do first, seal or stain, consider that sealing makes the wood more resistant to water and weather while stain keeps the color from fading. Of course you can always paint the deck a bright, fun color or stencil a pattern!


Nesting With Grace






4. Deck Design

Decks come in all shapes, sizes and styles and can be customize to fit in with your landscape and the style of your home.





Decks can have multiple levels or can be as simple as a free standing, floating deck “island” in the yard.





You may also want to add some privacy lattice to your deck or around your yard to make your space more intimate and personal or for the sole purpose of safety and keeping out unwanted visitors.


Designing Vibes

Privacy and safety is especially important if you have a pool. Check out this Ultimate Guide to Pool Decks, for some great ideas for pool deck design. 




Build a Roof Over the Deck

Consider adding a roof so you can enjoy the sun without the glare or sip hot tea on a cooler rainy day. Your options for deck roofing run from installing a solid roof over the deck or adding structures like a pergola.



Pergolas have exposed vertical beams with lattice top as the usual roof beams. These structures offer shade and are open for customization, e.g., you can install a retractable canopy for more coverage and protection from the elements. Awnings and deck umbrellas are flexible options for shade too.


Thrifty Decor Chick


4. Add Extra Seating

Extra places to sit mean more people can enjoy the deck’s cozy outdoor space. Additional seating also offers functionality and utility to the deck.




Built-in or freestanding deck benches are like “window seats” made extra comfortable with cushions and pillows. Notably, custom built-in seating tends to command a higher price than its freestanding counterpart, taking into account the material and the level of customization involved. What’s more, deck benches can double as storage spaces.



5. Lighten Up the Mood

Landscape lighting lends charm and character to your home and its outdoor space at night. There’s no better way to highlight your upgraded deck than to install fx lighting products. The choice for up lighting or down lighting is yours.


A Carried Affair

You can also illuminate the path or steps leading to the deck, solar powered garden lights





Lastly, don’t forget the colorful decor, pillows, flowers and plants to add comfort, interest, beauty, and texture!


Jenna Kate at Home



Better Homes and Gardens




I hope you have enjoyed today’s post all about decks. The weather is warming up and there are plenty of days to entertain and relax outdoors in the months ahead. Lumber prices are currently outrageous due to the pandemic, so our dream deck may have to wait, but it never hurts to start dreaming and planning! Do you already have a deck that you just love or are you thinking of building a deck or making upgrades to your existing deck? I love hearing from you, dear readers!


Thanks for visiting today!


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