Options for the Deck

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap  —  July 9, 2014 — 3 Comments

So I posted yesterday about how I’d sort of impulsively torn down the railing on our deck.

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I’d been thinking of replacing the railing for a while, but the plan was to replace it with a new railing or something similar. I even got a quote from a handyman to tear it down and construct something like this in its place:

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This Old House

The bench surround is definitely too complex for Nick and I to take on ourselves, but having it professionally done is out of the budget. We still may get a handyman to help us with leveling the deck if necessary but I’d like to try tackling it ourselves first. Besides, once I actually tore the railing down I loved the open look and decided that a bench surround would be too much. So then I started thinking of doing terraced steps around the two edges, like this:

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The idea of terraced steps stayed on my mind for most of last week, but the more I thought about it I knew that it would be a big project for Nick and me to take on ourselves. So now what I’m thinking is to add a second set of steps on the other side of the deck to provide easier access to the herb garden (something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time), and plant monkey grass around the rest of the perimeter to help define the edge and hide the support posts. Like so:

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Cottage and Vine

The easiest and least expensive option seems like the way to go, right? I have some really lush monkey grass (also called liriope) growing in my front yard and I’ve read that it divides and transplants easily. It’ll be easier if I trim it down first and the best time to do that is fall, so I’ll have to be patient I suppose. In the meantime, I can focus on getting the deck and house cleaned up a little, leveling those uneven boards, and maybe even sanding away the reddish-brown stain.

Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap


3 responses to Options for the Deck

  1. I like the liriope idea. I have had it in my yard for years and years. Every couple of years I take a shovel to it and slice it in half along the rows to pass along to friends. Its super hardy and can live for days once you rip it out of the ground. I trim it short in January/February before it starts sending up new shoots though. If you trim it in the fall, you are going to look at ugly trimmed liriope until spring. I live in Austin so I would imagine your growing season is similar to mine.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap July 9, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Hmmmm that is a very good point! I think I’ll take your suggestion and wait until the new year.

  2. I like the idea of a second set of steps and the monkeygrass to define the edge. Just be cautious of the monkeygrass species. Both Liriope muscari and Liriope spicata (also called creeping monkeygrass or creeping lilyturf) are easy to propagate through division, but the spicata is highly invasive. It will fill in the area nicely, but you will likely have to constantly fight its spread to other areas of your garden because the roots send out runners that can pop up all over your yard. The muscari needs to be divided about once annually, but it won’t take over like spicata.

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