2 In Home Reno & Decor

Backyard Overhaul {Deck Progress!}

So, it is official. The kids are back getting in the groove of school, our University town is buzzing with excitement, the Canadian temperature has quickly dropped (to colder than I would like) and our deck did NOT get finished this summer
So basically, all is right with the world.
You know, how long our projects take by now, right???
In our defense, it isnt like we were just sitting around all summer either. I didn’t get any tan lines this summer and we totally blame the awful “summer weather” on why the deck didn’t get finished in record speed.
If you are from around our parts, in Southern Ontario, then you know all too well that we had way more rain filled days then beach days this summer.  Which meant, staring longingly, with our greasy-grubby-faces against our rain streaked windows staring at our drowned deck holes.
When we first bought our home three years ago, I was excited that we would inherit what seemed to be a big new-ish deck!
But after some further investigation we realized that our deck, though new-ish was not built to last.
 We quickly referred to our “new-ish” deck as being our “old deck”, and to be frank, it just wasnt cutting it for us any more.
Not only was it void of all personality.
But it was a giant B-O-X, right off of our main level, which meant we lost out on a lot of our ground level backyard space.
Which would have been fine in theory, but our new-ish deck, kind of shook back and forth. 

And by “kind of” I mean that if you moved on it too much you felt like there were earth quakes happening.

I love a good rock on a boat or a sway in a hammock, but from my limited deck building experience, structures should not shake.
…and stairs should not be lopsided.
…and lets not even get to the part about children not being aloud to play under said rocking, swaying, lopsided deck.
 And, to top it off, this sad dilapidated deck was covering a very important window.
So, with our “con list” growing, we decided, mid-summer, that we were going to change our backyard from the place where toys and tools went to die, into a relaxing private retreat.
We also put on the list that it had to be a solid non-rocking, non-swaying, non-lopsided retreat.
We dug some holes.
Made a feeble attempt at creating some foliage/privacy against our back fence.
And got to work putting our footers into our yard.
As things go around here, we usually don’t start with a drawn out plan. We usually, just jump into a project with both feet first.
In this case, my more methodical man went to Home Depot and had them design us a handy little approximate blueprint of the deck we had discussed: two tier, smallish, discreet, and it had to fit into our modest budget. That, by the way, is great to have as a starting point.
We tweaked as we went.
 …and then, with dreams in our head and power tools in our hands, in about five minutes, we tore the sucker down.
Don’t try this at home kids.
Our deck furniture took it easy this summer and basically sun tanned on our lawn for three months.
Our methodical man did not.
(The kids always end up choosing the best seats in the house.)
Slowly but surely, this guy of mine, clocked in after work hours, weekend hours, late night hours and more.
Sorry for the scary jarring saw noises neighbours!!!
Once the decks railings were removed, we installed the huge heavy posts that would eventually give us some privacy.
You should have seen my hubs biceps popping as he held these huge wooden babies up and I easily screwed them in underneath.
 The kids were impressed. Which says a lot.
One time, they didnt blink an eye when a guy tiperope walked across Niagara Falls.
Meanwhile, I was peeing my pants and blaming the mist.
  I remember the kids marveling that neither of us got killed in the process of installing those heavy puppies, and they were right to be astounded.
I am still sore.
Because I enjoy continuous momentum when it comes to projects, I encouraged my brother and dad to show up and offer some man power to my main man. The only problem is, when you don’t have a plan, extra help wont really make a difference.
Thanks Dad and Matt for coming over and watching us argue “ho and hum” about what steps to take next! Those four boards we got up in two hours are soooo level and straight, AND AWESOME, and I will carve your name in them one day in memory of the amazing teamwork you all displayed.
We attached a piece of wood on the inside railing of our deck walls and then framed in the upper deck sections with slanted boards for a prettier visual effect. 
Since we live in a 15 year suburban development, mature trees are at a premium. We knew we wanted shade but also knew that we didn’t have the patience, the green thumb, or the budget to bring in mature trees into our yard.
Instead we installed a beautiful custom wooden system that would give us the privacy and shade that we craved. 
We made our upper deck out of five sections and added these wooden “blinds” totally around it, so that we can be out there in our pajamas with a morning coffee in hand and the neighbors wont have any idea that my favorite pair of pajama bottoms are actually my husbands thread-bare-ones and that they are covered in obnoxious happy faces which will never match my own morning face.
This whole process took a lot of days after work to complete.
We made it up as we went and there were more than a few times where my husband couldn’t continue building because I had to scour Pinterest to decide what I wanted for our dream, budget friendly, deck.
Lucky for me he is patient.
I never did find something that would work for our yard from Pinterest, but  I guess this labor of love will be unique to us in the end…
Though our yard is totally copying the amazon jungle right now.
finished the upper deck a few weeks ago and have been busy tearing down
the other side of the old upper deck that we have no use for anymore. With the cooler weather moving in we
have also been steadily moving forward on the new bottom deck.
My fingers and toes, and hairs, and feet, and legs and arms, are crossed tightly and hoping that in a few weeks I will be ready to show you the whole reveal with proper pictures and a source list. 
Until then, you will find me hiding out on that upper deck in my pajamas, with a morning caffeine fix in hand, covered in heaps of blankets to ward off the cold Fall air.
PS: fingers crossed the Canadian snow holds off till next month too! ;0

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  • JamieAlleyne
    September 20, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Wow! The deck looks awesome! I love the privacy shutters. Where did you buy your sectional couch and matching table from? I love them!!!

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