All Decked Out

My amazing husband Mark has been working his fingers to the bone to finish our new deck, and I’m very happy to report that it is finished!  Well, for the most part, anyway.  We have some cosmetic things to do to add finishing touches, but the bones of the project are done, and we are both very pleased!

Neither of us expected our deck to take so much time to complete – we started the build on June 1st.  Every day off, every afternoon, rain or shine, Mark has been out there working on this thing.  I’ve helped as much as I can but let’s be honest…I’m no builder!


I mentioned before how much work Mark has done on our backyard, and the deck was the final major project back there.  Let me show you the progress of this massive undertaking:

01 This first photo was taken two years ago when we bought our home.  Right about where Mark is standing, the ground drops off into a steep hill.  In the far right corner, you can barely see where the landing coming off the main level of the house ends.  We’ve done so much to the backyard already, including grading, sodding, laying pinestraw and other landscaping.  On to the deck!

02 In the photo above, you can see the landing I mentioned a minute ago.  It was our only deck and it was quite literally falling apart.  The balisters were coming off, steps were bowing up, and boards were shifting.  The joists were the only things that were salvagable, but we’ll get to that in a minute. After grading the dirt where the new deck would be, the framing began.  It extends to where Mark was standing in the previous picture, where the hill starts to drop off.

03 After the framing and joists were done on the lower deck, it was time to disassemble the upper landing.  Rather than taking the entire landing down, we decided to trim it back and keep a 5′ x 12′ landing and move the stairs to the opposite side.

04 This was the view from our back door out of our livingroom after the demo began on the landing.  You can see how rotted the deck floor boards had become.

05 New posts were installed and the landing was trimmed to size.  Savannah & Dakota had to come inspect the work in progress, too!

01 New floor!  And the landing up top has been framed in.  Progress…

02 The new stair treads and landing were set up.  This will be so much nicer than our old staircase that was falling apart under our feet!


05 Finally, we have stairs.  We decided to move the stairs for a couple of reasons.  In the original location, they would have come down on top of the new lower deck almost directly in front of the basement door.  Moving them to the opposite side fixed that problem, plus the added landing breaks up the steep staircase.  It’s easier for the people and the doggies who live here!


My mom gifted us her patio furniture because it was too large for her concrete slab.  (It was a good excuse for her to buy new patio furniture, and we needed some, so it was a win-win!)  The posts and rails were added, and I gave Mark a new grill for his birthday last week.  He has worked so hard and really deserved something fabulous for his new deck.



Now all that’s left are to finish the rails and add the balusters on the stairs and landing, which we’ll do this week.  We’re going to wait until after the 4th of July to do the cosmetic touches, like adding post caps and painting a stain on the deck.

The final dimensions of the lower deck are a whopping 20′ wide by 24′ long.  That’s 480 square feet folks!  Awesomesauce!

This has definitely been a labor of love, and we do truly love it.  We can’t wait to have our friends over this weekend for our first ever deck party, with many more to come!

Have you tackled a big backyard project?

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I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!