It's all too easy to overlook your deck wear and tear year to year. All-season weather, foot traffic, barbecue grease, dirt, and those much-needed scrub downs following a spill all take life away from your deck little by little until suddenly you find yourself facing a tired, maybe even damaged deck that needs some serious attention.
Luckily a deck makeover is a simple task to complete yourself, saving you money and the hassle of finding quality workers who will work around your schedule.
Even replacing or building a deck is a relatively straightforward DIY project so it's well worth getting down to your local hardware supplier to talk over costs and options and see if your backyard is ready for a deck transformation.
The tips and information below will help you out for both build, relay and maintenance.
Hardwood is a fantastic long-term deck investment. Natural timbers have incredible style and bring a rich warmth and harmonious look to your outdoor entertainment area or a smooth connecting flow from your home to the garden. When well-maintained you can expect your hardwood deck to last for many years. The only catch is you need to maintain them to reap the rewards of that stunning look. You will need to apply a decking oil or timber finish every year to keep your deck healthy, strong and looking fresh.
If you are looking to save some money and want to build new or relay your deck, then pine is a great option for you. The material is light and versatile and the varnishes, stains and paints available for the finish give you the flexibility to create just about any look you want.
Whitewashing is a cheap and classic finish option, or you may even choose a coastal worn look using a lime wash.
Be sure to clean and dry the deck carefully (and gently) before applying a stain, especially when it comes to thoroughly removing any traces of sealant so that you get the best results and a long-lasting stain.
Most professionals recommend re-staining a horizontal deck surface every two to three years. Keep in mind that if your deck is in the full sun you might want to consider colour techniques that will be long-lasting as UV light will fade colours on an open deck more quickly than a deck that is shaded. Stains with semi-transparency can sink into the wood better than paints. If you were looking for a natural stain finish then a quality heavy oil-based stain will give you a longer run, or you may just prefer to restain or repaint your deck yearly to keep it looking fresh.
Style with colour
Once you have chosen the perfect colour and style for your deck, to help it connect and flow with the look and feel of your home and garden, be sure to make that deck a feature by including coordinated outdoor settings, pot plants, plant arrangement and decor that will highlight and complement your deck choice.
If your exterior walls are peeling and faded it's a good time to go over them with some quality exterior house paint at the same time as your deck work, that way all your work is completed in one weekend, starting with a prep session, material sourcing and completion.
Consider some more DIY work
Are you using your deck as often as you want to? If the answer is no then you might have to expand your hammering work to create a setting that you will love to be in and can use for entertainment. The most important thing to consider is accessibility. That can include seating availability, barbeque proximity, access to the kitchen, maybe even access to the garden. Projects that can work to expand your deck's favour are wide steps, built-in benches, built-in flower beds, a firepit if you find the area is too cold, shade cloth if the area is too hot. Most of these can be easily added and finished to match your deck and surrounds.
Lighting your deck space isn't just about style, it's about creating a space that is safer and more flexible to use while adding ambience and atmosphere. LED lights use low power and have incredibly low heat outputs making them a great and safe way to liven up your outdoor area. LEDs work exceptionally well embedded into steps, garden beds, under fence tops, and embedded into deck edges. All these options aim to frame your entertainment space and provide style.
With many LED styles to choose from, it's simple to complete this part of the project yourself without wiring if you select waterproof outdoor solar powered LED ground lights. These make excellent ground lights, step lights and deck path lights and are recessed so every single unit is easy to place where it needs to go with low maintenance. Some even come with stainless steel covers, for a great professional look and feel that is safe for children and pets.
If your deck space is well used than the work to maintain your deck is well worth it, making it not only a fantastic feature of your home now for memories and gatherings but also a great asset for the future when you may choose to sell.