This summer we decided to try and add some more outdoor living space to our backyard! Last summer’s projects included the wood-fired pizza oven (which you can see in these photos) so this summer we decided it was time to spruce up the living space by extending the deck to allow for extra entertaining space as well as an outdoor kitchen.
Summer isn’t as long as we’d like it to be here in Canada, so we need to make the most of it. Having enough space for outdoor living in these few short warm-weather months is crucial! And for a family who grills all year long, space to get to and from the BBQ through the snow is a must-have, too!
Rather than just do a ‘normal’ slatted deck, we opted for a herringbone/chevron pattern with a ‘picture frame’ border. We did this to add some interest to the space, but also because we wanted the space to appear larger than it really is. Note that with a patterned deck, you may have to add additional footings (which we did) as well as extra joists. What was so great about this was that an advisor at The Home Depot was able to help us with this so we knew just exactly how much material we needed.
You may be noticing the extra large steps that we built from the back doors out onto the deck. This extra deep stair landing adds some additional functionality for us! First, it allows me to frame the space with potted herbs and other annuals for colour and greenery, but it also provides us with additional outdoor seating for guests!
Ideally the pizza oven would be centred on the mid-point of the deck, but we were bound to what we could do with the stone retaining wall. Because we were dealing with the non-linear nature of the natural stone retaining wall, we weren’t able to run the deck entirely up to the stone, so I filled the space with some perennials. I chose day lilies because they’re hardy, they’re perennial and require almost zero maintenance. I surrounded them with some mulch to block weeds and help hold moisture into the soil. (Note: you don’t need a pickup truck for this project – potted perennials and bagged soil and mulch are all available at your Home Depot Garden Centre all season long!)
Having space to keep the outdoor kitchen and barbecue off to one side and the dining area off to the other, now we just have to figure out what kind of lounge furniture we’d like in the space! The pizza oven can double as an outdoor fireplace which makes sitting on our deck on a summer evening very enjoyable!
When we set out to extend our existing deck we took some measurements of what we thought would work, popped onto Pinterest for some inspiration and then went down to The Home Depot for some help selecting our materials to make our project a reality!
It can be tricky to figure out what materials you’ll need for the deck design of your choice, so I suggest popping into your local Home Depot store and meeting with one of their staff. Just bring in your ideal measurements and they will help you to use their deck-designer tool to figure out how much material you’ll need, if you’ll require permits, plus instructions and advice for building the deck of your dreams!
Don’t have the tools you need for the job? You can either pick them up or rent them at your local Home Depot, too!