I thought it would be fun to share a bit about our plans for our deck. When we tackle projects, we start with thinking through how a space can be used. Sometimes our idea of how things should be used are different than the reality. In order to really get this space right, we’ve been testing out furniture and ideas in this space.
One of the things we really loved about this house is that it has a screened in porch as well as a deck. You can get a peek of the deck through these family room windows. It’s tricky, however, because the weather here is no joke. But when the temps are mild, I dream about opening the door to the deck and using it as an extension of our home. I can envision our friends enjoying dinner out here. We LOVE eating outdoors and have done it for much of the summer in our backyard. Yes, some nights are too warm, but most have been lovely. So our wheels are turning.
Unfortunately, many of the boards on the current deck have seen better days and the space will need to be rebuilt. We are toying with going composite for obvious reasons. It’s more of an investment, but I think it makes more sense. If you have used a composite decking I would love to hear your experience. We will most likely design a railing that is less ornate and allows you to see more of the view.
For fun, I moved much of our outdoor decor and table to this space so we could start to envision it. I want to make sure that we like seeing a table out here before we go to great lengths to make it happen. Well, it’s official. I can’t wait to use this space. It opens up the house and really creates a nice spot for hosting. Plus it’s right off of our dining room which is fun for overflow seating.
This rug is quite soft underfoot. It would be better suited, however, for a covered porch. I don’t think rain would go over well with it. It would be wonderful as in indoor rug, too. So cozy. The lanterns are a great deal (on sale now). I bought the large and medium. We love them on our screened in porch and will bring them out here when we host. The candles are so pretty in the evening. I’ve shared these resin planters before. I bought the set of two and have been so happy with them. They add so much warmth and charm.
It’s the view from this space that makes me so happy. I feel like I’m in a mountain home. We will be on the hunt for an outdoor table that can truly withstand the elements. We have been loving this table down in our backyard. I would love something like this, but I think it needs to be more weather proof. If you have a covered area, this table is on sale and gorgeous. Really like the lines on this.
A dear friend suggested we use a retractable awning out here which I think is brilliant. No one would see it and it would be wonderful for hot summer days or if the rain were coming down. I’ve never used anything like that so now the hunt begins.
Wishing my dad were still here. He would be able to design and engineer this for us. He was so gifted when it came to things like that. I’ll have to channel his skills to get us where we want to be. I think the biggest task is keeping this well within budget. Stay tuned as this all unfolds and here’s hoping it doesn’t take us forever to find someone we trust and like to help us with the new deck.
We have a Sunsetter retractable awning with the laminated fabric. We would highly recommend it. Also we purchased the composite decking and have been pleased with it as well.
Jen, thank you for sharing! Sounds like both are investments you don’t regret.
We replaced our wood deck with composite and love it! Definitely an investment but worth it to not have to worry about ongoing maintenance down the road. My one regret is the railing. We selected white for the railing and balusters, but it interrupts the view. Black would have receded into the background and allowed our view to shine. We also considered horizontal cables, but wow the quote was expensive — would have doubled the cost of the deck project.
My parents have a retractable awning over their deck, which gets a lot of sun in the afternoon. The awning makes a huge difference in regulating the temperature and they are very happy with it.
No ongoing maintenance sounds dreamy. I am afraid we all might fall through at this point. And thank you for the insight into the railing. We are also thinking black but had no idea that horizontal was so much more. And love hearing your parents like their awning. It would help with afternoon heat in our family room, I think.
We also replaced our deck with the composite and it is wonderful! Be sure and shop around because there are absolutely different brands, different qualities and of course prices!
Good luck with everything. I just love what you do with your homes!
Gosh, I love hearing this, Joni. Thank you for taking a minute to let me know. I better start doing my research. And thank you for the kind compliment.
We’ve had a composite deck for eight years and we love it!! We power wash it once a year (in May) because the pollen is no joke in Cincinnati. I will warn you it gets very hot when the sun hits it in the summer. My kids know they cannot walk barefoot during the day. Also, when it’s wet, it can be slippery if you’re not wearing shoes. Knowing this information, I would choose composite over and over again. You won’t regret it!
Where we live a lot of people love their composite decking. We are extending our deck and probably are switching to composite as well.
In our subdivision people who live on the lake use glass/plexiglass to keep the view from being obstructed – just a suggestion! It looks very cool and blends in nicely.
We have concrete patios, but used Timbertech composite last year to do our porches and a basic outdoor kitchen area. I’m really happy with it, and it power washes so easily. It is a big investment, but I feel it was worth it. I agree with other commenters that it’s worth looking into different brands, as they all have slightly different selling points. They have different ratings for slickness (slipping when wet), heat retention, warranty, etc. And of course, try lots of samples at home, because there is a vast variance within brands – between looking very plasticky and pretty realistic.
We did a Composite decking around our pool and it holds up great. The only thing I did regret was selecting a dark wood, it got extremely hot during the summer. I think something lighter would have been better.
We have composite decking at our lake cottage on our screened porch and grilling deck. We love how it looks and the low maintenance. We have horizontal wire for our railing and it doesn’t interfere with our view of the lake at all. The only downside is that it does get very hot on the grilling deck in the sun and can be slick when it’s wet. With the price of wood being high because of Covid, it only cost us a couple of $$ more to do it . I love it and am so glad we chose to use it!!! Whatever you choose I know it will be beautiful!!!
We replaced our old wood deck for Azek composite deck in 2020. After spending over a year researching we decided to go with Azek for the beauty of natural-looking wood grain, best stain and fade resistance, lowest heat transfer, best warranty, and maintenance-free. I was worried, being in MN, that the PVC-coated deck would be slippery in the winter. (we always shovel the snow off and grill all winter)Not slippery at all! Because of supply and demand during Covid, the maintenance-free deck was only $3,000.00 more than treated cedar so it was a no-brainer. I have power washed once and the deck cleaned up beautifully.
Here are the cons: it is installed with a special system so there are no screws. Seems like a plus but our yard is surrounded by trees. The various leaves and seeds take some effort to get out of between the boards. My neighbor has an Elm tree that hangs over the deck (we will be trimming this fall). The sticky leaf buds that come off are very difficult to get off the deck. Took a lot of pressure washing to remove the resin-like stains. Thankfully, No stains from the tannin in the oaks. I had heard grease stains were difficult to get out but have had no problem they wipe right off.
Overall I would make the same decision to go with composite without hesitation. Looking forward to seeing your new deck!
For low maintenance tables/outdoor furniture I’d recommend looking at Polywood. I live at the beach and after replacing metal & wood furniture after only a year repeatedly, it’s the only thing that’s held up. Power wash it and good to go. Everyone who has seen it has been impressed & it’s in year 3 looking new still. My neighbors have had theirs for 15 years. Worth the up front cost, similar to the composite decking. I’d love to see a post on what you find about the different types of composite decking as that’s next on my list too! Good luck!
Love the reference to your Dad and how you designed spaces together. My Dad and I did the same thing when he was alive. Thanks for your blog, it’s a place I look forward going to each day.
Glass would be great to give you a clear view. It sounds an exciting project.
I can’t picture the size/shape of your yard as the view from the patio makes it look like you live by the forest. Could you share more pictures? If you’re comfortable with that.
Dawn Scheurich says
We just built our home last year and have composite decking for both screen porch and deck—worth the $! We have cedar posts, top and bottom rails with black iron skinny posts in between (if that makes sense) for the railing and you can see through to the view very well, so we are pleased with that choice as well!
We have a very large screened in porch which with composite flooring which we love. The columns of the porch are a white composite material but the railings are a bronze iron which I love. At night the railings disappear and it feels like you are in the trees. If we had used white railings they would obstruct the view, especially at night.
Hi Courtney! I love the way you make your guest bed. Would you do a tutorial on how you do the folded layers? I would love to do that on my master bed but can’t get it right. Thank you!!