It all started 10 years when we bought the house. The current owner showed us this large deck that had been added by a previous owner. It runs about half the length of the house and takes up a lot of space. This yard isn't very deep, but pretty wide. To me when I first looked at it I felt like I was trapped on the deck by all the railings, the deck is only about one step up from the ground so they didn't really seem necessary. We knew re-doing the deck was going to be a time consuming project and with Sweet Pea only 6 months old, there were other projects inside that needed to be done first.
The next summer my husband decided we'd better clean and stain the deck to at least maintain the wood, since it obviously had been neglected. He went to the store and came back with stain. I knew as soon as I saw it that I didn't like it but didn't make a big deal about it, after all I'd probably chosen a lot of what we did inside. Once the stain was on it felt like a big red prison, but we had other things that needed doing first. Every year or so he would clean it and re-stain it because to try and change the color would be a major job.
This summer we decided we'd finally tackle the deck. The first thing I did was to get rid of the old patio furniture. The table was far too large and we didn't need so much seating, it felt too crowded.
Here is the red deck before. I think it looks like the Japanese maple is in jail too, it had railings around three sides of it. At least they built the deck around it. The cute little bistro table and chairs are the only furniture we kept.
Last Friday while my husband was at work I got the Sawzall out, that my sister suggested, and started cutting off the railings. My sister and I are always encouraging each other to do all sorts of big projects while our husbands are at work to "surprise" them. I think they get worried when we talk about ideas we have. Sweet Pea took this picture with my phone so she could send it to her Dad at work to show him the "surprise". No turning back now!
First thing the next morning "the Muscle" had to go over any nails that were sticking up and hammer them in.
Sweet Pea and the Littlest Gardener helped sweep off the mess from the big Pine tree.
Next my husband sanded the deck with a big drum sander. I tried to use it, but felt like it would pull me right into the house. The real fun started on sanding the two sets of steps and sides of the deck. Sweet Pea insisted on helping with the palm sander. We were all sore the next day from the sanding. We spent 8 hours sanding Saturday, then at least another 4 or 5 hours Sunday.
Here is how the deck looks now. We ordered patio furniture and hopefully it'll be here soon so we can sit and relax. I've been trying to put the containers back and plan to add a few larger ones with perennials and maybe a small shrub or two. The deck on the other side has a large planter with a hydrangea in it, but that's it so far. I keep trying to convince my husband that a hot tub would be great, but so far he hasn't gone for that.
Watering the yard is already so much easier than dragging the hose over railings and getting caught in the patio furniture. The lighter color and removal of railings makes the yard feel so much bigger and open.