When we bought our house it had this small wooden deck and a weird concrete walkway in the backyard. This photo is from the listing and the tropical plants pictured were gone by the time we toured the house.
Because we bought our house in 2010 we got a nice tax credit for being first-time homebuyers. We used a chunk of that money to hire a handyman to expand the small deck almost immediately after we moved in.
It was an awesome decision–the larger deck is much more functional and inviting–but there are some things I would do differently if I could go back.
Most significantly, the railings. Not only do they close the deck off from the rest of the yard, they’re falling apart after only a few years (maybe because I painted the pressure-treated wood not knowing that it needed to dry out first?).
Last weekend when we were sitting in the backyard I noticed for the billionth time how annoying it is that I can’t keep a close eye on Jack playing in the yard while sitting comfortably on the deck because the railings block the view. I mean, the railings aren’t even helpful anyway. The deck is less than two feet off the ground and as previously stated they’re not exactly sturdy. So, I figured, why not knock them down? I started with this small piece by the house and it went down with shocking ease.
Although Nick had initially been opposed to my plan he jumped in pretty quickly once he saw that I was getting to destroy stuff. It was around this time that we realized we should probably come back to finish the project after Jack was in bed for the night instead of continuing as he played nearby.
After maybe half an hour of total work we had all of the railing removed. We’re still working on getting it all out of the yard, but we’ve knocked down any exposed nails in the meantime. PS we really need to clean the exterior of the house. Add that to the to-do list.
We’ve got some more work to do before this little makeover is complete. For example, this one post is a smidge higher than all the rest and the deck has always bowed up in this spot. I’d like to fix it. We’re also going to do something different with the transition from deck to yard, though exactly what that will be isn’t yet clear. I get my best ideas when I take my time so I’m not rushing into anything.
This is one of those projects that I couldn’t believe we didn’t do sooner. The yard feels SO much bigger! I love that I have a clear view of the whole yard from the deck. It feels much more open and being able to supervise Jack while seated at the table is a big plus.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little overwhelmed with all the work there is to do back here, but just like the kitchen makeover that started with impulsively prying off some tiles one Sunday afternoon, I know that I can take it one step at a time. Also, does this indicate a pattern of impulsively demolishing pieces of my house on Sundays? Even the porch door demo happened on a Sunday and with no premeditation.