The Deck - Some Finishing Details, Finally

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

After quite possibly the coldest, snowiest, and dreariest winter of all time I have vowed to spend every spare minute this summer enjoying the sun and fresh air on our back deck (that is, when we're not at the family cottage or going on road trips).
Let's rewind a little bit. We started the whole deck project in 2010. By 2011 we had both the upper and lower decks built, and then later added the deck railing. We had plans to add some wide stairs with a stair railing, build a low stair around the bottom deck to access all areas of the yard, and to finish everything off with skirting.
And then Coops came along. And then we bought The Fixer Upper. And then we finished none of those things.
So, for the past few weeks we've been trying to finish up and fix some areas of the deck. Yes, after three Northern Ontario winters, parts of our deck already need fixing. {Insert cry here.}
We started with building wide stairs to replace the temporary ones (that were actually there for a very, very long time). 
Here is a picture of the temporary stairs:
And here is a picture of the finished stairs. Yay!
Wide stairs are the bomb-diggity. Just sayin'.
For several weeks the stairs were done but the stair railing was not. In order to solve this dilemma I sneakily added stair railings to my birthday list. What do you know, Alex and his dad surprised me by showing up on a weekday afternoon to build them a few weeks ago.
The little railings look great. We had to leave them unattached to the upper deck railing because the lower deck is floating on deck blocks and tends to move around with the seasons.
The next thing we worked on were the post caps. After living with the posts for a few years I decided that we left them all a bit too long. My patient husband went and cut them all down an extra inch with a circular saw and added all new post caps. Since the old ones were never attached, they ended up curling up in the corners and separating. Booooo. This time Alex adhered them with construction adhesive.  
The last project we tackled was by far the worst.

And I mean the worst.

The deck boards accumulated a layer of dirt and mildew that desperately needed to be scrubbed clean. After doing some reading I decided to try using Oxyclean instead of traditional deck wash to clean the boards.

I poured a solution of Oxyclean + hot water onto a section of deck boards, let them soak for ten minutes, and then scrubbed them with a deck brush until I could no longer feel my arms. The amount of black sludge that came off of the boards was unreal. And pretty gross. After scrubbing I rinsed the grime off with the hose on it's jet setting.
In the next picture you can see the difference between the clean boards on the left and the dirty boards on the right. It really made a big difference.

It took two afternoons with the help of my parents (my dad helped scrub and my mom wrangled the baby). I'm glad that I got the job done but,  it really was the worst.  
I prefer projects like the deck stairs where I get to tell Alex what I want and he builds it while I go to Homesense take care of the baby.
Since these not-so-fun projects have been done I've been able to pick up a few things here and there to liven up our deck furniture.
Think: cushions, lanterns, planters, and flowers! Sa-weet!

Oh - and here a few random pictures of Mini-Coop. He is absolutely loving spring!

In case you hadn't noticed... his favourite colour is "ba-looooooo".


  1. Love the post caps! Looking good! I just read through your home tour and I want to live in your house! Seriously, its the cutest!

  2. AnonymousJune 08, 2014

    Deck is looking good. Enjoy the summer.

  3. Love your new deck area! Looks like it will be a great spot for summer entertaining. We are busy getting to do things off of our DIY list as well,,,one at time right!?

  4. AnonymousJune 13, 2014

    I have been following your blog since Coop was born. I admire your writing style and decorating skills. It has been a joy seeing your little one grow up, he is sooooooooo cute. Raised four boys of our own and loved every minute of it. It all goes by much to quickly. I have used a power wash machine to clean our deck and it goes somewhat quickly and seeing the dirt disappear gives me a quick little thrill. My little boys are grown with babies of their own now. Bobbie from Spokane


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