I don’t think I’ve really talked about it here but Kyle and I have gone back and forth on our deck plans so many times that I’ve lost count. I never really loved anything we settled on and although he’s pretty laid back and said he was cool with whatever, I could tell he wasn’t totally into what we decided either. A few weeks ago we were sitting outside burning branches from our Christmas tree (Yes, I realize Christmas was almost 6 months ago. Deal with it.) and I started to play around with a new idea which I’ll get to here in a minute. First, let’s look at the current deck. Here’s a photo from the listing:
Our original plan was to expand the existing deck all the way across the back of the house so that we can move the french doors to give us more wall space in the kitchen and then create a paver patio behind the garage (where the brick is in the photo above). This would give us an “upstairs” grilling/dining area and a “downstairs” outdoor living area. Here’s a very professional rendering to help you visualize the original deck plan.
That was the plan for a while but then we decided we didn’t really want to deal with pavers and we didn’t love the idea of pouring a concrete patio either so we decided instead of a patio we would create a lower deck. So we would keep the overall plan but with different materials.
That plan was THE PLAN for a long time. Like, the last two years. As the project has gotten closer (!!!) I’ve started to doubt that plan more and more. We kept talking about it and how to best tackle it and financially it’s best for us to break this project up into two phases and even then we went back and forth on which phase to do first (upper deck vs. lower deck). The same arguments were being made over and over to justify one over the other. The lower deck should probably be done first to make it flow more seamlessly. The upper deck should be done first so that part is done and there’s no snag when it comes time to re-do the kitchen and move the french doors. The lower deck should be done first because it will be the cheaper phase. The upper deck should be done first because it’s falling apart and the pine tree near the lower deck area should probably be removed first.
But then, as I was sitting in my plastic adirondack chair breathing in the fumes from the burning evergreen branches, I came up with a new plan. I finally admitted to myself that the old plan never really worked. I didn’t want a multi-level deck. I didn’t want something that has a lot of wasted space and the potential to look like Frankenstein fell in love with a load of pressure treated pine. And so a new plan was born. Are you ready for this?!
Okay, so I know that mock up leaves a lot to be desired but it’s the best I can do with the tools I have. ANYWAY, it boils down to this: instead of a lower deck and an upper deck we are going to build a one level floating deck at the height we had planned for the lower deck. This means that we’ll have to have a few steps from the doors to the deck but that was really the only con we could think of and it’s not a big deal to us. We feel like this plan lends itself better to our ultimate goal of being able to entertain seamlessly out here and it keeps the deck open to the yard so it’s easy to come and go. Not that it would have been difficult to access the yard with the original plan but this just keeps everything a little more open. We are losing a little space because we can’t use the entire span of the back of the house due to the crawl space door (the current deck is built above the entry point) but it’s only 4 or 5 feet which we can deal with.
If all goes as planned, we’ll be starting on this project at the end of July/beginning of August. We’re still doing the deck in two phases the first of which will be demolishing the old deck and building from the crawl space door to the corner of the house. We’ll also be adding in another section of fencing during this project which will have to be done before we can start on the demo/new deck.
We are both much more excited about this plan than we’ve been about either of the other plans and if I had my way we’d be yanking that old busted deck down this weekend! Tick-tock, deck, your time is coming.