July 24, 2015

The New and Improved Deck

Hello and happy Friday! Hopefully everyone has lots of sun and fun in their future this weekend. I finally have that bigger post to share with you guys! It took me a bit to get the after pictures, but better late than never.

We love our deck, but we realized this year that it might not be that safe for an energetic toddler. The deck was close enough to the ground that steps weren't really needed, but high enough that Braxton could fall and hurt himself. It was between 6 and 8 inches from the ground, not something Braxton would look for while trying to get off the deck. Here are a few pictures from 2009:


As you can see, it worked perfectly for adults but maybe not so much for little ones. So we decided that a railing would solve a lot of our problems, including the fact that Motley (our Bernese mountain dog) forgets that he's the size of a horse and would constantly knock Braxton over and possibly off the deck. 

So the first step that Luis did was to remove the boards where he was going to put the posts in. From there he leveled the deck again because it had settled over the past few years. He then dug the posts in and leveled them as well. Once everything was squared and level, he cemented in the posts.


I managed to get the cement off the deck boards while Luis continued to the next post. I know, what would he have done without me? (Love you Luis!) We let the cement cure and harden for a few days, well until the next weekend. Seriously, day jobs can really cramp your home projects.

The next step was to start cutting the posts down to size. I hope you will notice the intense supervision Luis was under during this project. Quality control and safety are no laughing matter to these boys.

After all the posts were cut to size Luis started to put the upper part of the railing together. We decided to go around that silly window well with the plan down the road to add some sort of privacy screen or planter down the road (as that's a bathroom window).

Then we determined where we wanted the bottom part of the railing to be. We wanted it to be high enough to allow leaves and snow to be removed easily, but low enough that Braxton wouldn't try to climb under it. We decided that 8 inches was the perfect height.

In the above picture, the opening at the bottom is where we decided to put in a gate. That way, we can keep Braxton and/or Motley contained to an area if needed. Nothing worse than trying to pick up monster dog poop with a toddler trying to help you. Trust me.

I somehow missed taking pictures of the spindles and the gate, sorry about that. I'm sure that morning sickness is to blame. We decided that we would put the spindles 6 inches apart for the same reason that we put the lower railing at it's height. At that spacing, we didn't have to worry about stuck heads. This part was long and tedious, and I love Luis for doing it all alone.

And since I don't have any during pictures, we get to jump right to the after pictures:

In the last picture you can see that the spindles are doubled up at the bottom left, that's where we put the gate. It swings into the deck and we have a second latch to hold it in place.

This was the greatest decision that we have made to date in this backyard. I love this new railing, I don't even think my love can be understood. We are now able to keep the dogs off the grass or the deck if needed, as well as keep Braxton off the grass. He loves to watch Luis mow the lawn, so once we close the gate he runs around the deck following Luis. It's amazing. It has also designated an area for "stairs" that Braxton understands, so he gets up and down very carefully and all by himself.

I know not everyone likes the idea of closing their deck off like this, but it just works for us. The pros definitely outweighed the cons on this one. We plan to stain the deck this fall or next spring, depending on the weather. 

Anyone else make a change and fall even more in love with something?


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