Summer home projects

We moved to our new house in November–just in time for winter. I’m so excited that the weather is getting warm and we can now spend our days outside! We have just over an acre so there is tons of space for Ryan to run around and lots of land for us to make plans with. Things on our wish list: a sandbox for Ryan (Steve wants to build it), a swingset/playground area for Ryan, a garden, a compost pile, a rain barrel, some landscaping–we really need to plant some trees (for shade and to block the wind), and… a new deck. I’m going to start with the deck…

There’s no shade in our backyard so the deck, although only 8 years old, is in pretty bad shape. I’m not sure the previous owners even ever stained or sealed it. Some boards in the railing are loose, a few have been replaced and don’t match, and… here’s the kicker… the previous owners left a pile of wood on the deck. We recently moved it and what did we discover hidden underneath? A HOLE. A massive hole–a great size for Ryan to fall right through. Who does that?! I mean, they clearly hid it from us on purpose. RUDE.

It appears to  be rotting wood. And at the very bottom of the picture, see the horizontal support beam? Also rotting. GAH.

But okay, let’s look at the bright side… we get to plan a new deck! We’re trying to decide what we want. Obviously money will be a factor with what we can do, but that’s why we probably won’t start it this summer.. we’ll plan and design this summer, build the next.

So this is what we’re working with right now. It’s decent sized with 2 stairways. We’re thinking we’ll make the new one bigger… the area to the right of the deck in this picture is just an empty grass (weedy) square between the deck and the house. So we’ll extend the deck to the house, at least. We’re thinking a side with a built-in bench (Ryan will love that) and maybe an arbor or pergola–then we can add some shade.

Steve wanted a wood deck, I really want a composite deck. I showed him some pictures and read him some facts about the best composite decking and I think he’s starting to agree with me 🙂

photo from

Pretty, right? I know it’s more expensive, but… I think it’s safer for kids and it will be less maintenance for us. Anyone have experience with a composite deck? Or tips on designing a deck? Oh, we’ll add a gate too–at the staircase–for child safety! Ah, now to think about all the other things on our list…


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