Our old back deck

Our old back deck

For the last couple of months we’ve been in the process of getting a new deck on the back of our house, to replace the dilapidated one that we had. It’s finally done! But before we introduce the new one, I want to show you our old one… emphasis on “OLD.”

You may remember that the original plans for our backyard and deck were to build a stone patio in the very back of the yard next to the new garage and then simply replace the deck in the same size and shape as we had. We got a quote on that job, and while they were out measuring for that, we said in passing, “So would it even be possible to extend a deck all the way across the back of the house…” Turns out not only was it possible, but they even recommended it AND it wasn’t very much more in price than our original plan. We think a bigger deck adds so much more value to the house in the long run. We’ll probably still plan on building the stone patio ourselves next summer.

Here’s what the back of our house looked like a couple of months ago. Small deck. Big weeds.

We had just enough room for our grill and a small table that we never used because nothing about rotting wood and peeling paint is very appetizing. We never hung out in our backyard at all, and when we would use the grill, we’d take the food back inside to eat. Can you tell that the railings are all leaning? They were barely connected in some places.

Next to the deck, behind all those overgrown weeds, were our air conditioning units. We always thought these a/c units meant we wouldn’t be able to expand the deck at all. They were also another place that weeds loved to grow, which is really bad for air conditioning performance and since they’re so close to the house, could also lead to water getting in the basement.

At the bottom of the deck, the trellises were constantly falling over, and there were SO MANY weeds that grew out from under. We were constantly fighting a losing battle to control them. We also discovered that the whole deck was propped up on cement blocks — there is nothing up to code about that!

And to top it all off — the piece de resistance — the stairs were so crooked and saggy we had to prop them up with a brick! How embarrassing! When the builders came out to measure, they realized that not only were the stairs falling down because the wood was falling apart, but each step was actually a different size and height. Even with the brick holding the second step up, it still wobbled every time you stepped on it, which is pretty unnerving.

Here’s a close up on one of the steps. That wood is scary, right?! Keep in mind we use our back door 99% of the time, so we were up and down these steps several times a day, along with our guests and the UPS man. I was always terrified that someone would fall down the stairs and get hurt.

Looking at these photos makes me SO HAPPY that I don’t have to look at this in real life anymore!! Come back soon to see what our brand new deck looks like… I’ll give you one hint: no more brick holding up the stairs!

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