If you've hired a remodeling contractor to repair your deck, why not take advantage of it? A deck is a great place to socialize, for some people year-round, but a few tweaks can take your outdoor living from ho hum to heavenly. Ask your contractor if while they're on the job, they could possibly incorporate one of these ten fun ideas.
If you use your deck for family dinners or entertaining, you know how much work it can be to get everything from the kitchen to the table. If you have a window between your deck and your kitchen, think about putting a buffet ledge below it, like outdoor seaside restaurants have. It will make passing dishes and cleanup much easier.
Another great way to up the entertaining ante is to build a bar rail along one side. All you need to do is add a few stools and some tropical beverages, and you'll feel like you're at a resort in your own backyard.
Most people think about beefing up their railings when they repair their decks, but here's another safety feature you could consider: built-in solar lights. Lights sprinkled around the deck are nice for atmosphere and safer than candles, and putting a few on your stair risers will help eliminate trips and falls.
A deck repair is the perfect time to think about ways you are wasting space or perhaps not using it because of hot sun during the day. There's no law that says only beach hotels get to have a palapa. This classic Mexican structure is easy and inexpensive to build and maintain in warm climates, with a wooden frame and palm frond roof.
If you live in a colder climate, why not create a retractable pergola? Use awning canvas on clips that can roll like curtains, and you can have both sun and shade when you want them.
An easy way to add storage space to your deck is to build in bench seating. Lift up the lid to the bench, and you can stash pool gear, kids toys, and garden supplies. To make your benches more attractive, try adding planter boxes to the ends. You can use them for rotating displays of annual flowers in the summer and mini evergreens in winter.
Another great storage option is using a trapdoor and wire basket combo beneath the deck floor. Open the door to hide hoses or dog toys, and take advantage of that dead space underneath your feet.
If you have a little more space underneath your deck, put it to good use by turning it into crawlspace storage protected by a deck skirt. A deck skirt is a solid surface wall along the base that will keep whatever you place inside out of the elements or your pets' mouths.
Do you need more outdoor living space? If you have the headroom under your deck, it might be the perfect place to create a kids' play space. You can add a play house, a sandbox, or even a slide going from the deck to the ground.
With even more headroom, you may even be able to build a screen porch under your deck, thereby doubling your outdoor space. You'll love the extra outdoor-but-indoor living with a screen porch, whether it's on a buggy night or a rainy morning.
Your deck can be as important to your living space as the interior of your house if you plan it right. Ask your contractor if any of these ideas would work with your home, and you may never want to go back inside again.
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