A Few Quick Ways To Jazz Up Your Deck This Year
If you are looking at your deck and wondering what you can do yourself to jazz up your outside space and make it a little more enjoyable for you and you family, here are 5 great DIY projects that any weekend warrior can tackle! Choose one or all of these options to really transform your space and expand your outdoor options.
A New Seal
Decking boards take a lot of punishment and often end up looking a little worse for the wear. Nothing makes a deck look older and like it’s going to fall apart than grey boards that look like they have been outside forever. This is actually a pretty simple fix and doesn’t even require that much money to fix. You need something to sand with, wood stain, a new weatherproof sealant, a few clear days, and a lot of patience.
Lightly sand off the old sealant and take the time to replace any nails that have become worn. Fill in any gaps and consider replacing boards that look a bit old. Then stain and let set before applying the sealant. Rinse off the deck at the end of the curing process and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
A Better Railing
Standard railings on decks are usually pretty ugly, not exactly supportive, and can sometimes end up making the deck look cheap or old. Sometimes they are built just to satisfy building code regulations, not to actually provide a useful space or to make your family safer. Thankfully railings are just attached to the sides usually, making it easy and quick to take them down and then replace them with something better.
A few quick options include curved railings, railings thick enough to actually put a drink or something else on, or railings that make up a pattern with the support and auxiliary beams. Make sure you measure your deck completely and attach everything securely. This is a great project to pair with a re-sealing as you can make sure both parts of the deck match completely.
Stairs are really where the bulk of the utility of a deck lies. Usually a deck will only have one pair of stairs and often they are very narrow, making them hard to get up and down. Newer decks are moving to have multiple sets of stairs, making them wider and shallower, and even putting in mini stair sets for lower decks to make getting on and off of them easier.
This is a project you need to draw out ahead of time and it wouldn’t hurt to consult a pro to make sure your design will be load bearing. Measure the area from the top of the deck to the bottom, figure out how many stairs you need at your preferred height, and then install supports at both sides and in the middle for each board. This weekend project will take a bit longer than you think, but can change the entire look of your deck very quickly.
A Second Lower Deck
A new trend has been to add in a lower deck, just a few inches or even a few feet below the first. This increases the area that you can use, is really nice when hosting a dinner party, and can create sheltered areas underneath for working in the garden or storing items.
These small decks generally seem to be around 10 feet or so, are generally a mirror to the bigger deck, and can be quickly put together with a bit of elbow grease.
No matter which project you choose, a bit of money, a long weekend, and some good weather can help you rehab your deck and make it one of your favorite places to hang out.