I was really hesitant to write this post... there are so many yards out there that are amazing and we still have so much work to do. But with that being said, it's hard not to share since all of our efforts have been going to our home's exterior. The past couple years, since moving, we haven't been able to devote any time to outdoor renovations, but this spring we have been putting all of our extra time (and house repair budgeting) to the outside of our home.
First on our mile long list was renovating our back deck. Above is a picture of how our deck previously looked. (Sad, but true.) The first thing we did this month was remove the old lattice, move the railroad ties, and pull up miscellaneous bushes and weeds (not to mention some very icky weed fabric and trash under the deck from the previous owners).
Next Justus ripped out the old rotting steps and built these larger ones. He centered it on the porch, which works so much better. I can't tell you how much time we spend just sitting on the stairs of our back deck when the weather is nice.
Fortunately, the wood on the deck itself was still good, but the stain was wearing and there were splinters everywhere. Justus found a product specifically for this type of problem. It's called Deck Restore. We bought it at Lowe's and it revives and protects wood surfaces. You can purchase it in a variety of colors, but we chose Cape Cod Gray because we felt it matched our house best.
The paint covers up to 1/4" cracks and eliminates any splinters, but you have to spread it on thick. Unfortunately we didn't realize until we brought the first couple gallons of paint home that one gallon only covers 50 sq. feet. So although this is more cost efficient than replacing all of the wood, it was still costly... we had to purchase 7 gallons total. Despite that, it was totally worth it. Regular paint would not have hid imperfections.
We only painted the stair treads with the Deck Restore to save some money. Since the stairs are new, we didn't need to fill in any cracks or hide any imperfections. I painted the sides of the stairs and the side of the porch where the lattice is with regular latex paint tinted to match the Deck Restore.
You can see in the picture above that we also put up new vinyl lattice.
I visited our local nursery over the weekend and purchased two Annabelle hydrangea bushes to plant on either side of the stairs. I love hydrangeas and I thought white blossoms would be so pretty here.
The only thing we did prior to this month was replace our back door. This screen door was very outdated but I realized quickly when we went door shopping why it was still there. Because the back of our house was originally a porch (before there was such a thing as indoor plumbing and kitchens), the door height is smaller than what you find now in stock.
Fortunately Justus is super handy and he was able to take the above door and customize it by taking it apart and rebuilding. We also replaced the light fixture with this affordable beauty from Lowe's.
I took one of our rockers from the front porch, gave it a coat of fresh paint and put it on the back deck.
What you can't see in the picture above is that we also have a wooden patio table that needs refinishing,but we hope to get to that soon! Once we do, I know we'll be eating many meals out here in the evenings.
We still have so many improvements to make outside, but it sure felt good to cross out this deck on our list!
This week we rototilled our garden (can't wait to start planting) and moved some dirt in preparation for moving our driveway. The gravel should be delivered Friday so we hope to have that completed this weekend!
What are you working on outside? I'd love to hear!