The transformation of my outdoor space happily continues with the rejuvenation of a tired, old deck and the conversion of the parking pad to a dining area. With the addition of some decks, pergolas, & trellises my outdoor space has really come alive! If you are just now joining this adventure, you can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 while the rest of us keep moseying on down this road.
The goal of Project 2 was to give the old deck off the back porch a face lift and convert what was a parking pad into an area for dining alfresco–all at the same time creating some much needed privacy from the neighbors. Here is a quick reminder of the space:
The first step of this project was to tackle the old deck. The roof of the deck was full of holes so it leaked like a sieve when it rained. The handrails were wobbly at best and the latticework skirting was just plain ugly. Well, to tell the truth, it was all ugly…and rickety. (brace yourself)
The deck is really too small to use for dining and it has a terrible view. It feels a lot like being perched on stilts and the whole neighborhood is watching. I considered just tearing it down and using the space for a herb and kitchen garden, but then I got an idea.
My feeling is that a herb or kitchen garden needs to be as close to the actual kitchen as possible in order for people to really use it. If it isn’t easy to pop out there and gather your goods quickly, then eventually the novelty wears out, and over time, the garden gets neglected. Taking this philosophy to heart, I decided to use the deck for just that purpose. I am going to elevate my herb and kitchen garden so it is literally just outside the kitchen door! Genius!
After spending an afternoon tearing off the roof, I could already see potential. Then my builder started the deck renovation by picture framing the deck flooring. If you have a deck built, make sure the flooring is picture framed. It is a very nice finishing detail.
The next step was to remove the handrail on both the deck and the adjacent porch and add a new one. By carrying the same handrail over to the porch and down the stairs, it gives the appearance that the deck and porch are all one structure instead of an add-on. And finally, the latticework skirt was replaced.
The look will be completed once the deck is stained and the handrail and skirting are painted. Top that off with some planters filled with herbs and veggies and I’ll have an elevated garden that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
The next step really transformed the space. Look carefully at the diagram above and you will see that there is a parking pad at the base of the deck. In fact, when I first moved in, there was a metal, portable carport in that space. Ugh! But get this, my realtor paid me to disassemble it and cart it off! What a deal! This parking pad was going to be my dining space.
In order to convert a parking pad into an outdoor dining space (without it looking like a parking pad) the space needed to be well defined. I accomplished this in two ways. First, I had a chunk of the concrete cut out. This was then filled with a brick that matched the house and was set in a nice pattern. This little trick alone made a very big difference.
Next a three-sided pergola was added. By completing it with the same trellis that I put on the new deck, the spaces were tied together and the dining space was completely defined.
The trellis added a nice wow factor and accomplished the task of privacy as well. Not only will the dining area enjoy some privacy, but the view from the deck (and my kitchen window) changed dramatically.
The finishing touches–pressure washing the concrete, staining & painting the structure, adding furnishings & plantings–will be added soon. And I guess I’m going to have to get rid of the skid loader as well! (aw shucks!)
The last phase of this adventure–the new storage building and carport–is almost complete. Part 4 will be up next. In the meantime, I am contemplating a way to turn that ugly storage building into a greenhouse. Ideas, anyone?