Well, we finally decided to put on a new deck this year. We had always known the deck on our house was not well-built and it was falling apart. The previous owners never stained he deck, so the wood was water damaged and cracking. We stained it twice in the last four years, but the damage had already been done. I didn't really want to spend money on a new deck, but during the demo you could see how horrible it was, how pieces were falling about, and how it could have pulled away from the house. Lovely. The posts were not even sunk in with concrete! So, I guess it was needed for safety reasons.
We spent months decided what type of material we wanted to use and finally decided on the composite wood - no maintenance and more difficult for the dogs to tear up. Overall, I like the deck, but it was not built without drama.
First of all, let me mention that I will NEVER spend any of my hard earned money at Lowe's EVER again. Horrible. It took us days to get the materials delivered, and then they were not delivered on time. From Thursday through Sunday we waited to start building and trying to organize getting the materials from them. I even tried to rent a truck to pick everything up myself. First they told me it was okay and then they said it wasn't because the wood was too long to fit on the truck and it would be a safety hazard. Okay, you know my order, so why did you say it was originally okay and make me wait an hour to hear it was not possible?!? Parts of the order were not correct or missing. Then, when we tried to return some spare pieces (about $200 worth), we were not allowed because of how THEY ordered it. We ordered 6 posts, but they put it in the system as 2 packs of 3. So, since we weren't returning the how package, we couldn't get our money back. But, they will sell them individually and can look up an individual price, not too mention we did not ask for the materials to come as a package, we asked for individual pieces. UGH! Let's just say that I had to leave Lowe's so I wouldn't go over the counter ate strangle the stupid people working there.
It is nothing spectacular, just a 12x12 deck. We only increased it by about 2 feet in width. The railing is a lot better than before. But, the stairs are an issue for me. I do not like the stairs. We originally wanted an octagon shaped stair that would come off the corner of the deck. At some point, we changed our minds and decided on regular old steps coming straight off the deck down to the grass. But, I didn't realize until the stairs were under construction what was going on. Todd had decided to go back to the octagon shape, but they are not symmetrical. In my opinion, it does not look right. Also, because of how the yard slopes, we had to add an extra step to one side because it would have been too dangerous of a step down to the yard. So, we have two sides of the stairs with 3 steps and one with 4 steps.
Another issue is that we have nothing going around the bottom of the deck. We were going to put up skirting and we have also talked about the trellis-type material. So far, we have nothing. I would like to put something up. We would have to leave an opening for the dogs as they like to hang out under the deck when the weather is bad. They stayed outside during the recent 90-degree days and stayed cool laying in the dirt under the shade of the deck.
The other problem is that half of the patio was torn up to put in the new steps for the deck. I have been wanting to get rid of the patio and just replace it with grass, but for now, everything is just sitting there waiting for us to do something with it. Great, another project.