Out of all the projects we have done the deck has been by far the most labor intensive. When we initially bought the house we figured we would leave it as is and tear it down in a few years and build a brand new one. Upon closer inspection (and a little planning magic) we decided to take it on this spring so we could enjoy it all summer! Structurally the deck is safe and sound but there were a few minor (major!) tweaks that needed to be done to bring it up to speed. You can check out our initial deck design plan here!
The first big project we needed to complete was tearing down the old railing and installing a new one. The old railing was pretty unsafe – the trellis part would literally dissolve into a pile of dust if you kicked through it – and pretty ugly. The top of the railing (the actual rail) was also super warped and uneven. Here is what we started with.
The stair portion of the railing was different though and had horizontal pieces that were in fairly good shape. We decided to go with similar design to tie into that existing railing and save us a little time and money.
To start we decided on a design – horizontal planks. Most decks have vertical planks and these can be beneficial in a few ways – two big examples are that water runs off them well so they stay more dry and kids are less likely to try and climb on them. Horizontal planks are more affordable and easier to install – we went that route! Read more…