Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DIY: Drab to Fab Deck

Today is DIY day at Kimba's A Soft Place to Land! If you enjoy reading about projects that other bloggers have going on, this is the party for you. Kimba hosts it each week, so be sure to check her out!

I've been meaning to share our new deck with you. It is definitely a DIY project, and a work in progress. Lots of pictures today!

I'd love to be able snap my fingers, write unlimited checks, and make my "dream yard" a fast reality, but instead I'll be honest and say that it won't be happening like that any time soon. For now, I'll settle for a spot that we can eat and play with family and friends and maybe grow a few tomatoes while we're at it!

We've been planning on getting a deck put up for three or four years now, but other things (babies, diapers, doctor's bills, etc.) kept getting in the way. Several months ago, I reminded T that my sister's bridal shower would be the first weekend in August.

"Do you think you could have a deck up by then?" I asked. "I'd like to be able to have the ladies outside for games."

"Uh huh. Sure." he replied, his eyes glued to Fox News.

We repeated this conversation several more times until it was two weeks before the shower and the only thing outside my Kitchen window was a red wagon collecting rain water.

"Um, sister's shower is August 1st." I reminded him. "When were you planning on getting the deck up?"

"What?!" He was shocked. "You didn't tell me it was in August!"

Then I said some other things....

T gallantly scrambled to get a rag-tag work crew together, consisting of his dad, his brothers, and three family friends. They were promised, pizza, drinks, and the entertaining company of a three year old and 18 month old.

It pains me to post this, but here is a "Before" shot of the back of our house, last summer before the addition:

I promise we're not white trash...that board up against the house was there while we waited for the contractor to begin the addition last summer. We had some flooding in the crawl space, and needed a "quick fix" for a few days.

The "platform" to the left was what the original house listing referred to as a deck. The "deck" was sloping, falling apart, and had some loose boards. Not conducive to entertaining. You could fit two preschoolers and some animal crackers on that nasty set of boards.

Pretty blah, huh?

Sometime I'll do a post on the addition, but this is what the back of the house looked like just before our "crew" started work:

You can see the addition to the left of the Kitchen window. T blocked off three days over a long weekend to complete his work. Our budget was a small sum of money in an account we'd just been sitting on. It was now or never to get this deck done!

Mr. Lenny, as Natalie calls him, brought some very official looking equipment. I played with it when he wasn't looking.

The foreman, or Foregirl, as she prefers to be called, arrived late but made sure the job went smoothly. She was a harsh task master, only allowing the workers to take short sippy cup breaks when they felt faint from the heat. Here, she inspects a beam to be sure it is level.

Several truck loads of lumber later....

...and the guys had a grid set up.

T did a lot of research to find a deck plan that would work for us. We couldn't afford anything fancy, but still needed something safe and sturdy. Natalie took great delight in pretending to walk a balance beam on the planks.

Uncle Mike took a quick break to have a tea party in the play house. Natalie likes to serve scones that look suspiciously like the sticks from the oak tree. The Foregirl caught him in there. You can see her giving him a real tongue-lashing.

Voila! Finished product!

It's basically a long platform with a step that goes all the way around it. I love it!

The guys finished the top all in one day, and knocked the step out on Saturday morning. I was so proud of their hard work. My mom (Mimi) and T's mom helped us celebrate by putting together a lunch for the guys.

Miraculously, there was money in the budget for a grill, but we weren't able to pick out a table and chairs. For now, T's parents are letting us borrow their patio set, and my mom lent us her umbrella.

Here's my yard sale, pre-lit faux ficus tree that needs to be moved to a new pot. For now, it's sitting in the corner, waiting for the MOPS party to be scheduled.

The girl's love it out here!

The picnic table I stole from the icky house next door sits in our yard, and I ran some leftover burlap down the center when we had family over for an impromptu grill-out.

The deck is a great place to run the bubble machine!

If we run out of seating, the step makes a good spot. At some point, we'll probably add a bench (or maybe a pergola?) to one side, but the step is good for now. My brother, Jamie, and his wife, "SuSu" are hoping T gets the grill heated up soon.

Our friend, Tracy, was in town to see my sister. She and Michaela Byrd got to hang out. Don't you love her sunglasses?

Order up! Leave it to T to figure out a way to do less work. Rather than walk three steps (okay, maybe four) to the door, he figured out that he can just pass things back and forth through the window. I felt like I should be working at Mel's Diner.

Nothing can separate a man and his grill.

These two have their own little table. I love how they like to sit next to each other.

My sister, Jamie, and SuSu all enjoyed dinner, simple as it was.

Does it get any better than hamburgers on the grill with fresh tomato and lettuce, some potato salad, a pickle, and a Coke? I especially like the snowflake pattern paper plate. Sorry, y'all...we ran out!!!

Thanks for reading along about our little transformation. This was really T's DIY project, but he doesn't have a blog! There is a LOT left to do to "prettify" the space (like rigging something up to cover the utility boxes), but I'm just happy to be able to sit and watch my girls play.

{Would love to have you join me on the deck for a drink and a chat!}

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  1. I'd love to join you, thanks so much looks fabulous.....I have a patio but it's pretty useless...I'd love to redo it!!


  2. What an awesome deck! I am sure you are thrilled with how it turned out. I bet they'll be lots of BBQ's on that nice, big deck!


  3. A lovely space to create lovely memories!! Love it!

  4. A whole deck in one day, for reals??? It looks great and warms up the back of your house.

  5. Amanda the deck looks great and I know it's going to bring you so much enjoyment. Congrats!

    Actually, you have been featured on my blog as July's monthly giveaway winner. So, go ahead and grab that button sweets!

  6. What a great space...big space! Love it!


  7. Wow, you all did a fabulous job with the deck and I can't believe the short amount of time you completed it! It looks great! My kids are under strict orders not to play on our deck, lol - that's how badly it needs sanding and the nails replaced {the old nail heads are popping up - we need to replace them all with screws *sigh}

    Congrats on the new deck! You'll enjoy it for many years to come!

    "the only thing outside my Kitchen window was a red wagon collecting rain water"

    Lol, I have one of those too!

  8. It looks fab...great job, guys!
    I would so dearly love to have a deck, so that the sliding glass doors off the dining area didn't open into a yawning chasm two floors up.

  9. Looks fabulous. Amazing the transformation! Looks like a fun get-together too:)

  10. I had to chuckle with the " You didn't tell me it was in August comment." Some things are just universally husband! LOL! However, he sure redeemed himself with that deck! It looks terrific. It's like you added a whole 'nother room to your house. Congrats!

  11. Your deck looks wonderful! It looks like you have a wonderul and supportive family. I know you will enjoy it for a long time.

  12. Love your new outdoor space...great job! I'll bet it feels soooo good to have it done!

    Thanks so much for visiting me and for your sweet comment!

    Have a great evening ;)

  13. So. Jealous...of the burgers. I love burgers!

    Oh, the deck's nice too.

    Seriously...I am jealous of the deck...I want. one. so. bad.

  14. I like that you deck is low to the ground where people can sit on the steps. You really have a nice entertaining space now and it must make your backyard more useable for the girls. T did a great job!

  15. Nice work! Isn't it wonderful to have a whole new place to entertain and hang out? We just did a back patio too.

    Looks like you guys are enjoying it!


  16. It turned out awesome! I've been contemplating what to do with my back "deck" and I had looked up that type of deck building, glad to know it's as super easy as it looked online

  17. I love it! A deck adds so much to a house. Doesn't it make you just want to hang out there all day? Great job!

  18. Great job and looks like you have already put it to good use!

  19. Wow!! That's a handful of a project!! Nicely done!
    ~Andy @

  20. It looks FABULOUS Amanda! Tell T he did a great job. My favorite part...the Mel's Diner window. Love it!


  21. That looks great! I would love to have a really nice big deck like that!

  22. I'd love to join you for some lemonade! What a great place to enjoy your family and yard. It turned out great!

  23. Great deck! jute wont be sorry..hehe

  24. Looks great and is so big too, the guys did a great job. Hey girl. you name the date & I'll bring the drinks! Haha!

  25. Wow, what a difference! Enjoy every minute out there!


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