The House With No Deck

First of all, let me preface this post by saying I for one think there’s little in life as dull as someone else’s renovation project. We’ve all worked with or known someone who goes on for months and months about the gobsmackingly dull details of the transformation of their home. The problems with tradies, the angst of colour and fitting choices is all desperately important (as it should be) to the renovatee but less so to the rest of the world.

But a bit of before and after is fun, right? I think so anyway. Consider this the ‘before’ post. In a week or so you’ll get the ‘after’ post.

We bought this house four and half years ago, a rental property of some years it had very little to recommend it except vision for the block, which is big. We almost sold it because we couldn’t bear the idea of going through the likely hell of extensions or major gutting and redecorating. So we reached a compromise. The one thing that would make this house more liveable for us in the few years we plan to live here would be a deck.

The large, sunny block has absolutely no shade save for a small corner at the front of the house which faces a busy road.

I long with all my heart for somewhere nice to sit outside. I dream of having space for visitors to sit with us, looking at the garden instead of hovering around awkwardly outside perched on plastic seats that tilt awkwardly on crooked, unsightly broken concrete. To have somewhere to sit and chat while visitors who have small children can run around, instead of all being cramped inside, is my dream. As is the longing for summer dinners on the deck with Sean or breakfasts watching the rosellas and cockatoos that come to perch in our yard in the mornings. A place to sit and read, or knit. The list goes on.

In less than a week, that’s what we will have. And this weekend, we undertook the mammoth task of painting the timber for the pergola prior to building commencing tomorrow morning.

What a huge, almost overwhelming job! When a builder tells you ย that you can do it in a day, double it then add some.

timber - long view

We worked, with a little help from a couple of Alice’s older siblings, from dawn til dusk. Sure, paint some wood we thought. How hard can it be? When you have to do two coats of very, very long planks and you have to do it in stages because of space limitations, fear of rain and the waiting periods for drying before flipping each piece over, well it was bigger than we thought.

timber close up

But it’s done now and we are satisfied. We saved ourselves a fair bit of money by doing it ourselves and will always know that we had at least some part in the process that begins properly at 7am tomorrow morning.

back step - ready for building

So here I am, all grotty and tired at the end of the day, sitting on the cleared back porch (it’s always been covered in pots) which is little more than an awkwardly sized slab and in a few days, will be covered by a deck of quite reasonable proportions. Our very basic little 1970s suburban home is going to be changed for good by the addition of what is essentially an extra room.

Picture me next weekend (you won’t have to – I’ll show you!) sitting in more or less that spot, but under cover of a pergola, with a Gin and Tonic in my hand and feeling very, very happy (hopefully watching my chickens, who arrive in a few days) pecking around the ย yard!

I just can’t wait.



28 thoughts on “The House With No Deck

  1. That does sound like one heck of a job! We’ve made similar mistakes, such as saying we’d take out drywall all by ourselves. About the only task I’ve been able to finish for builders is stripping wallpaper! It also takes way longer than one would expect!

  2. Oh, you looks so lonesome there on your old ‘deck’ in the Before picture.
    I am so looking forward to seeing the After photo. I love the green paint, and those sort of jobs are never as easy as they seem at first.
    You will have an outdoor room, very cool and trendy and just in time for Summer!!

  3. I long for a deck – heck, even just some paved areas and a few shade trees – at our place too … I look forward to seeing how it all turns out! Good job on the painting ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Decks and chooks are lovely Bells. When accompanied by sitting in shelter in a comfy chair knitting with a G&T – pretty much perfect. I hope you have lots of lovely times out there.

  5. I am sure all those tiring hours of painting will be worth it once you have your pergola built. It will be perfect in summer late in the evening to do your knitting too! Looking forward to the after pics!

  6. This is exciting & I can’t wait to see the new deck next week. My husband built our deck 2 years ago & we love it. I was sitting & spinning on the deck yesterday looking out to our little vine yard.

  7. Fun! I love home renovation projects and especially appreciate being able to live vicariously. I, too, live in a 70s home in dire need of modernizing, but with all these boys, we’ve decided to wait until they stop knocking holes in the walls, floors, etc. So share away! I won’t be bored in the least. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Oh, I hear you! I remember I thought I’d have the outside of my house repainted in a week the first time I did it. Ha ha, I can hear you laughing.

    It did eventually get all painted, and I didn’t think my wrists would EVER forgive me.

  9. We practically live on our deck in summer, and you’re just in time for it with your own. Good on you for having a crack at doing it yourselves too – do you have special skills in this? I know it’s something I wouldn’t dream of trying. I have lots of great skills, but constructing load-bearing structures is not one of them ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Oh right, I misread. Okay, I thought you or someone else in your family might have had construction skills. Still, painting is a big job. I tried painting a book case once – it was harder than I thought it’d be ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. We have made photo albums of each major project we have completed. We moved in here twenty years ago this month, and have completed several. Some were out of necessity (like the new roof) and most were just to make the house more OURS. A deck is one of the things we have discussed, but where we want to locate it will require a major operation, like cutting a HUGE hole in the side of the house! Your project looks much more manageable!

  11. There must be something wrong with me, or maybe it’s because I’m a builder’s daughter, but I LOVE the details of renovation stories!

    Good luck with the deck – what colour is it, by the way? (Told you I love the detail)..

  12. I do like having a deck. Even better, it faces the side of the yard with no nearby neighbors.

    We recently had to replace some flooring–the less than year-old carpet was ruined by one of the cats when we dared go away on vacation. Since we’d so recently paid for the rug and its installation, we decided to pick floor we (and here I mean Chris, really) could conceivably install himself. And he did. It’s all done but for the moldings and door piece. I’m so impressed. There is definitely something quite satisfying about having a part in the renovations, especially when it saves a huge chunk of money!

  13. I do love a good deck! It will be a fabulous addition to your home. Have you chosen your outdoor furniture yet?
    Hopefully you won’t be too sore from the painting tomorrow!

  14. Just so exciting to see this transformation! Its going to make such a huge difference, I can’t wait to come and sip tea and watch your chooks with you!

  15. I have found decks like that with some shade and shelter add enormously to the enjoyment of life. Had one on the house which was sold yesterday and I was out there most days except in winter when it got no sun at all.

    G &T on the deck in the evening sounds very civilised.

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