We live in a bi-level house built in 1984. Our kitchen is on the second story and it overlooks the whole neighborhood. Sometimes that is okay, like when I chatting with my neighbor. Other times, we just want to eat out on the deck and enjoy our privacy. We already had a 10×10 deck right off the kitchen. It is not big enough to entertain or to even enjoy a meal on with a family of five. We did have a small patio right off the garage, but recently we have had earthquakes in Kansas and our patio split down the middle and sunk. So we tore it out and built our big platform deck.
We started by building the frame. CDB enlisted our teens to dig holes and then he filled them with quickrete and leveled the posts. This was a family affair and they had so much fun (read sarcasm) helping their parents! These kids will leave this house knowing how to do basic carpentry.
After the frame was set, we began screwing down the deck boards. We used pressure treated wood for the entire project including the deck boards.
The deck came out to be 14×16, but we wanted to make sure we had enough room for guests, a table, and the grill. We decided to build a 3×6 deck off of the larger deck to place CDB’s large grill on. Actually, the kids built this one with the help of their dad. It was a booger digging all of the holes in the backyard because of the tree that is right off of the deck. The roots killed us!
We decided to paint the deck with a deck paint we picked up from Lowe’s. The color is called Timberlake (as in Justin a.k.a. JT) and it is a cedar color. We decided to go with paint because the upper deck was a few years old at this point and the wood had aged with the weather. Painting both of them helped tie them together and make them feel like one space. The paint on the older wood has not held up. I even scrubbed on my hands and knees in spots to ensure that it would adhere. I need to power wash to remove the loose paint and repaint this fall.
We also added a bar to the posts that hold up the upper deck. I purchased four barstools from Amazon and added some decoration.
My brother-in-law came over and helped CDB turn our rickety old stairs around so that you stepped onto the lower deck. They are still talking about how it almost killed them. It would have been so much easier to build new stairs from scratch.
I built this farmhouse table for inside my house a few years ago, but decided that it would fit better outside. Today, the weather has penetrated the wood and it is definitely showing some damage. I hope to make a concrete table top for it this summer and the base is still in great shape! I added two metal chairs with holes in the seats from World Market and a bench. The potting bech I painted and added some hardware for a deck bar. It has since warped in places and no longer is on the deck.
I found this idea on Pinterest and planted flowers around the smaller pots containing citronella candles. They are still out there and have pansies in them. It was over 100 degrees today and my pansies are still going strong.
In this photo, we had not yet turned our stairs, but our chiminea sits right in the corner of the deck.
I added these letters that spell out eat above the bar. I bought them from a big box craft store and they only attached by a small picture hanger on the back. I found some galvanized nails in the garage, predrilled some holes, and drove them through the corners of the letters.
This is the deck just a few days ago. The potting bench/bar has been replaced with mama’s baby grill and I’ve replaced the furniture on the upper deck to a wicker seating set.
When a communications-company-that-shall-not-be-named removed a box from the back of our house, they left a big hole in our siding. We filled the hole in and sealed it, and then covered it with one of these galvanized planters that I picked up at Target this spring. I filled them with wave petunias and they add color to an otherwise large empty space.
We’ve always had these lights over our patio and now our deck. I purchased them at Target for $10/box and I have three sets put together. We have them strung in a triangle pattern from the upper deck to the corner of the garage. I’ve had the same lights up for at least six years. I buy replacement bulbs in the spring and they are good until the next year or hail storm.
This is one of my favorite places int he world. The willow creaks like an old rocking chair and it feels like we are in our own world back here. The lower deck definitely has given us the privacy we desired. It is so much fun to entertain in our backyard and not have to worry about how many people can fit around the table on a small patio or deck.