We decided to tackle our outside space as it needed an update and some sprucing up.
As well as the garden, some of our decking boards had rotted and were spongy. Those boards taking the most footfall needed replacing before they gave way underneath someone.
Over the years, our outdoor space has been well used by my family and it’s taken a battering – what with teenage boys, their friends, and us.
One year, we had bees nesting underneath the decking. We’d often have to jump out of the way to watch as the bees, one after another, came into land like Lear jets, disappearing through the gaps in the decking. This went on for a month or two and totally freaked one of my sons out, who’s not keen on anything buzzy. This made for some great comedy moments.I’d like to share with you how we refreshed some of the decking. We didn’t want the expense of having to replace all of it so we decided to give it a go replacing the few rotted boards, ourselves. I’ll detail how we did it, below.
Where it all began.
But, first, I’m sharing with you how this outdoor space came about, as it hasn’t always been an integral part of our home. This may be of use if you are looking to add or update an outdoor space, yourself.
In 2007, we had a kitchen extension built. Despite exceeding our budget, overrunning the completion date, enduring constant mess, and a spate of shingles thrown in for good measure, we had at last, reached the end stage of the project.
We were unsure of what to do with the area leading into the garden from the new kitchen patio doors. The drop-off from the doors to the ground was quite deep. There had been steps there, previously, but they’d gone the journey to allow our new kitchen to be built.
The plan was to have an outdoor living space immediately accessible from the patio doors (above). We wanted a place where the family could relax or entertain when the sun was shining as well as on the rare occasions when it was warm enough to sit underneath the stars.
We tried our best to be creative and come up with suggestions, but we couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It wasn’t until we got all the mess/debris cleared that we could plan the way forward. As you can see in the photograph, clearing up was a big job.
Following this, we gave ourselves time to reflect, coming up with a few ideas, here and there. Ideas discussed included an orangery; a conservatory; and even an ornamental patio. But, with our budget rapidly shrinking due to the kitchen and unforeseen, resulting expenditure, we finally settled on laying down a decking area. Thank goodness, we made a good decision. The outside space has given us so much pleasure. I love to sit outside with a cup of coffee – even on a cold sunny day. For me, it was a perfect choice!!
Updating the Decking Boards
Since then, the decking boards have been cleaned, stained, and treated numerous times. All in all, they have lasted well. I’ll explain how we replaced the spongy, rotted ones.
First of all, my other half, attacked the boards with a heavy hammer. It turned out this was not going to be a straightforward job. The hardest part was chopping out the wood, then the nails which were holding the decking onto the joists. My understanding is that, if screws had been used (when the decking was originally laid), they may have been easier to remove. I have to admit, extracting the nails being his hard work – I supplied the occasional coffee and beer.
The new decking boards were bought from the local timber merchants for a great price. They were then inserted into the gaps, again, nailing each one into place. Following all of this, we jet-washed the whole decking area and gave it a good scrub – lifting dirt and weeding the adjacent paved area as we went along.
When it was completely dry, we then stained the whole decking area with the aim of matching the new with the old. It’s not a perfect match but I think it looks great and it has saved us so much expense. It is hard work doing it yourself but we’re delighted with the result and the cost-saving.
Updating Walls with a Fresh Lick of Paint
We paint this wall most years as it’s usually shabby following the winter months. Giving it a fresh lick of masonry paint brightens it up. Next, we brought out the garden furniture, washing down the cushions and, adding soft throws and textiles. Plus, now that Garden Centres have re-opened, we’ve managed to fill some pots with fresh plants that are beginning to flower as the summer season takes hold.
I finished off the spruced-up look by adding Festoon lighting along the wall – these were bought from Amazon – and draping some solar lights around the decking rail, which light up every evening. They switch on around dusk. I want to add to our lighting as there’s some great creative lighting ideas for outdoors (see below). We had some outdoor sockets added when the decking was built so you may want to consider this for anything you plan, if starting from scratch.
I think it’s possible to revamp any outdoor space, no matter what it is you have. It just takes a little bit of thought, planning, and creativity, as well as adding your own style and personality – plus, a little hard work!! The result can not only improve the look of your outdoor space but give you such a great sense of achievement and bring so much pleasure.
Thank you for reading my post. I hope you have enjoyed it and found it helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.