What a weekend! It was way too short as always, but since we spent half of it cleaning and starting to stain our new deck, I thought it would be fitting today to share the idea behind some of the unique details on our deck. These details are what makes the deck ours. It is unique to us and once fully complete will showcase our design sense. Many of these details were included on our deck mood board, but here they are in real life…
First up is the arc balusters. These were a must from the moment I saw them. We knew we did not want traditional wood balusters, because they are a maintenance nightmare. No one wants to paint or stains hundreds of wooden balusters. The aluminum balusters are maintenance free. Aluminum balusters come in many styles, but I loved the simple arc. It gives a nice curve to an otherwise boxy deck. We chose the “bronze” color, instead of black. Since we plan to go with white rails, I did not want a stark black and white contrast. I put “bronze” in quotations, because that is the name of the color, but it is not bronze like the metal. It is really a dark grey. Just a little bit softer than the black. I think the “bronze” can almost fade away and allow the scenery beyond to take center stage.
Second was the genius of our contractor. The arc balusters actually attach directly to the 2×4 railing on the outside. This leaves a lot of pesky cutting in around the balusters to paint/stain the railing. Our contractor suggested adding a 1×4 on the outside of the rail to cover where the arc balusters attach. Not only was it easier to stain, but it also gives a cleaner appearance.
The 2×4 and 1×4 rails with the arc balusters sandwiched in-between are topped off with a large flat top cap. Many traditional decks have post caps, but we do not like that look. Instead we have one continuous top cap installed. It is a nice clean look and a great spot to set a drink (when we finally have a party).
Another important detail on most decks is the stair design. With a second floor deck, the stairs were a big part of the expense and design. Two of the three designs we considered had straight staircases. The design we chose had a a 90 degree turn with a small landing halfway down. This adds extra interest to the stair design. Yes, the extra landing requires extra material and labor and therefore extra $$. We loved this because instead of dropping you off straight out in the lawn, the turned stairs drop you off where the future patio will extend out from under the deck. I also feel like the turned stairs provide some privacy for the future patio under the deck.
The last detail that makes our deck unique, is it’s sheer size. It is so big, but in a good way. Our contractor kindly proposed three different sizes, and although the smaller options had appealing lower costs, we just went for it! Better to do it right the first time, then to try to make it bigger later. The deck is about 14 x 26 feet. I love that it is large enough for a seating lounge area, a nice big grill, and a dining area. Right now we only have the lounge seating area figured out and the kids enjoy running around on the rest of the big empty deck.
I am so glad I did extra research and listened to our contractor’s advice to add special details to our deck. Now we just need a few more evenings, weekends to get all the staining done and wrap the columns underneath. Those finishing details will truly make this deck ours.