We live on a semi-terraced hill. Before the deck, the land outside our sliding door sloped down, leaving a gap between the ground and door. (While running around one day, our grandson slid down through that gap and landed under the trailer our house is built on.) On the opposite side of the house, another door opened four feet above the steeply sloped ground. (Perching on ladders to install the siding on that side of the house was near impossible.) Now, we walk out both doors onto a solid, level surface—and no one's slipped down under the trailer again.
Still a work in progress, the deck wraps around three sides of the house. In fair weather, it will function as our second kitchen and dining room. We've already hauled our wood box (a reclaimed shipping crate) onto the deck and sketched out plans for a table we'll build beside it for our wood-burning grill. When it's time to eat, we have a steel table and chairs (a great Craigslist find).
Next month, we'll install planting beds on the sunny, southeast side of the deck so we can transplant oregano, lemon verbena, rosemary, sage and mint already growing in our garden—and plant new basil, cilantro and more. Whether cooking inside or out, we'll have fresh herbs on hand.
In the meanwhile, we have railings to finish and the entire deck to stain. (We waited to let the wood dry out completely so it can absorb the stain; eventually it will be the same color as the house.) We also have earth to sculpt and landscape, so that mud stops washing down the hill onto the deck outside our sliding door. Oh, and there's also the stairs to build outside the kitchen door.
So, lots of work still to go on the deck, but we're looking forward to completing it. Between the screen house that's already in place and the deck that's almost finished, we plan on living in our 580 square feet of outdoor "rooms" as much (or more!) than we do inside these four walls. Here's to temperate weather!
Please click on the photos below for more details.