#tbt - A Back Deck Renovation for the Books!

Happy #tbt! I am so excited to show you our back deck renovation at the Neighborhood House.  This is by far one of my favorite renovations we have done and one that I am most proud of.

Last week I showed you the first projects of the backyard which were the swingset and the fence.  The following spring we decided to get started on the deck.  Chris did an awesome job on the deck at our last house, the Ivy House, so I let him draw up the plans for this deck too.

First, we both agreed that we wanted to move the back door that was located on a landing as you were walking down the basement, to the back hallway where we could install a large slider door. The one major item on Chris' wish list was an outdoor kitchen, so we had to be sure to include that in the plans.  Along with those two major items, Chris planned to wrap the deck around the back of the house and build planter boxes around the edges instead of railings.


View from the back door.


This image shows the old back door that we moved.  You can see that it is sunken into the the deck and they built the half moon space around the door to allow it to swing open.


There was a lot of not so glamorous prep work before we could begin building this back deck.  Here was the list of tasks we had to accomplish before nailing together some wood.

  • Demo the old deck

  • Move some sprinkler lines that were located under the new deck

  • Remove the old door and fill in the opening with bricks - we found some old bricks behind the garage that we were able to use to fill in this space

  • Install the sliding door

  • Dig holes for posts/fill with cement & add brackets

  • Bury the electrical line from the house to the garage to allow for the pergola

Finally we were able to start building!  Chris' dad came out for a weekend and helped put up the framing of the deck (and buried the electrical line).  He was a huge help, as always!

Once we got the framing up, it was time to install the decking boards.  I sat on the deck for hours screwing in the boards to make it nice and secure.

In some of the earlier photos you probably saw the duplex being built next door.  Our neighbors had sold their cute bungalow to developers who planned to scrape the lot and build the duplex.  The idea of so much stuff going to a landfill gives me anxiety (it takes a lot of will power for me not to start sorting garbage at random places when I see stuff that should be in the recycling bin - its a problem ) so we asked the developers if we could pull anything out of the house before it was demolished.  

They agreed to let us pull out any materials we wanted and the main thing I wanted was the beadboard ceiling on the front porch.  


We also grabbed a window that now hangs over Evie's crib in her nursery.  Chris was skeptical about how I would use the beadboard, but I knew I would find something for it. I decided that I wanted to paint it white and use it to build the planter boxes around the porch. 

I am obsessed with how these turned out, I love all of the imperfections and the fact the beadboard was from a home built in the 1920's.  The bricks around the porch were from the pile we found behind the garage.  The bricks were free (yes please) and it continued to add to the character I wanted to bring to our backyard.


I am so proud of our work on this back deck and we had so much fun putting it together.  

Here is a snapshot of the back hall before and after we added the slider door.

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Thank you for checking out our Neighborhood House backyard renovation!