Sunday, May 28, 2017

All Decked Out and The Back Yard to Go

An oldy of me enjoying an ice cold lemonade my deck.
 Our back yard is a bit of shambles right now. We've had some massive trees die on us the last couple years and DH has been dealing with them, as well as some overgrowth on the edge of the yard to the park. McVal over at Sew Not My Day had a recent article about thinking out loud and talked about her deck needing some attention. We use our deck, despite it's sordid appearance all the time. Summer is short in Minnesota and we want to make the most of the fine weather when we get it. DD2 does homework out there when it is nice (during the school year) I'll use the small little patio table as my work desk, and she and I both love the cheapo lounge chairs I picked up on clearance at end of season clearance two years ago for $15 a piece, a 75% savings off what they were selling for in spring and summer and are priced at right now. They are nothing fancy, but they are of the same type as our chairs, bought 10 years ago for $19 each (not on sale) at Target, and the chairs are still are going strong. The metal frame has needed a bit of Rustoleum touch up, but otherwise, I plan on getting another decade out of them, and hope the same for the loungers. 

Any way, I digress. In commenting to Val, I had a hard think about our deck needs. "Our 25 year old deck needs some major sprucing up, really could be replaced, but just not the priority financially. I hope that we can repair where needed, fix the wonky stairs again as we did eight years ago, and gave it a good power washing and it will continue to be serviceable. We live back there all summer. We know though that eventually we either need to replace because the railings on the lower part pulled away about 12 years ago, so DH just took them off, so they do not meet code, or just take down and let it go to grass where the deck sits, with a simple step. We couldn't sell like this, but would hate to spend the money on a new deck or patio, when we could just reduce the price of the house a bit and let the new owners decide what they prefer. We're at least 6 years from that though." 

Well, dear readers, below are assorted pictures of my deck and back yard. I'd love your ideas and recommendation on how we can make over the back yard and deck area on the cheap to help make it a summer oasis. Keep in mind we are slowly but surely tidying things up, but unfortunately too many of our weekends and DH's days off have been spent dealing with the lake place, so we just are not far along. Also, neither of us are avid gardeners.  Obviously the railing needs to be repaired, and the steps are wonky. I'd love a much bigger table, but for the three of us, the small one works most of the time, but I'm on the look out for an option-free or with minimal money spent. Have a hand at redoing my back yard-I'll be might appreciative.

I've edited this post to include a before and after picture form Lorraine at, We Are Clamco! She showed me how for a lot of elbow grease and sweat equity, they turned a tired brown deck into a back yard show stopper. Before scrolling to my disaster, see her ideas for me,using solid stains, which does not peel like paint. It's stunning. 
Lorraine's before.
Lorraine's after.



My reading spot. Table/chairs hasn't been put out yet.

Wonky steps replaced 8 years ago-need to be again.

Side view of yard.

View from back-railing repair needed.

Odds and ends from fallen tree in fire ring.

10 comments:

  1. Least is best, repair the railing, give it a good power wash and enjoy, life's too short.

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    1. That's where I'm leaning in my head.

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  2. Sent you an email with a couple pics of a deck we redid.

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    1. I updated my post. Thank you again.

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  3. We have an open deck and a screened in deck. We use the screened deck as additional living space and go out nearly every night to read there. (Understand that we can use it year round as long as we have a small space heater out there) Screening was necessary or the mosquitos would eat us alive without it. Rebuilding our deck was some of the best money we ever spent.

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    1. How long ago and for how many years? I should do a cost per year comparison. It is cash outlay now that would be tough.

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  4. If it was mine I would repair it and paint it . A coat of paint/ decking paint would improve the look of it and preserve it which would make it last longer. Then I would add some plants in pots for some color.

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    1. I think so too, but something more drastic in the future has to happen. It is wonderful back there in the late afternoons and evenings.

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  5. I would tear it off, start over, and enjoy that new, nicer, safe deck for six years until you sell. No matter how much you reduce the asking price, there are always people who will reject the house if it has no deck or an unsafe deck or a repaired deck.

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    Replies
    1. In our neighborhood, I'm not worried about future buyers. Homes go up and sell in days because of the price point for young families, and we have four bedrooms and two baths and back up to a park. If we decide to start again, it would be for our own enjoyment. I'm just not sure coming up with the kind of money it would take to do it nice is enough of a priority to knock something else off our list of where to put money.

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