So you’re building a DIY deck. We’ve got a few ideas to take it from good to deck-adent. Get it? Decadent… Anyway, enough with the puns and onto our DIY tips to transform your deck area.
1. Staining Your Deck
The number one DIY tip for transforming your deck is staining the timber. Staining your deck will protect the wood from environmental stressors like moisture and sunlight to prevent rot, mold and mildew. Over time – usually, about every two to five years – your deck stain will begin to fade, flake, or just look plain awful, which means it’s time to stain.
If you’re staining your deck for the first time, visit your local hardware store for the supplies and chat with one of their team members for advice. Deck stains are oil or water-based and are available in various types and tints, including transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid, and solid or opaque.
Transparent stains are designed to show off the natural wood grain, color and texture. However, without a tint, they will grey over time due to UV exposure. To stave off the effects of time, match the hue of your transparent stain closely to the tone of your decking timber.
Before applying your stain – especially if you’re restraining your deck – you’ll want to clean it with a high-pressure hose or an all-purpose deck cleaner. We recommend cleaning with water as it’s likely to cause the least impact on the timber. Cleaning your deck might take a little longer if you switch from a darker stain to a lighter color. You may need to sand the wood back before applying. If you feel the need to rebuild your deck, you can shop for cedar decking online and read articles on how to treat them.
2. Plants & Flowers
Get your green thumbs ready. Adding plants, flowers and succulents to your deck area will bring it to life. And thanks to the myriad of diverse plant life available, your local nursery will have plenty of flora to help transform your deck area.
However, some plants and flowers prefer being out on the porch more than others. So to help you make the most of your patio garden, here are some of the best plants for your deck.
- Golden Cane Palms: lush and green all year round, these guys grow best in big pots and can be paired up for even more foliage.
- Succulents: arguably easier to take care of than traditional plants and flowers since they require such little water. These little guys are an eye-catching garden feature when bunched together.
- Ferns: of course, there is more than one type of fern, but what this collection of plants does best is fill in the gaps. They even make great additions to hanging baskets for verticality on your deck.
- Climbers: not technically a plant or flower type, climbers, as the name suggests, enjoy clinging to trees and other tall objects as they grow. Divided into two categories – bines and vines – climbing plants and flowers can be a stunning addition to any patio garden if done correctly. Bougainvilleas are a terrific choice for color and coverage.
- Mosquito repellents: less of a category of plants and more of a job description. Citronella, lemon eucalyptus, rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, geraniums, verbena, and lavender are all-natural mosquito-repelling plants, making them indispensable for your patio or deck area during summer.
- Herbs: a few of the above plants also double as herbs you can add to your next meal. Add mint, basil, coriander, parsley, and chives to the mix, and you’ve got yourself an entire spice cabinet ready to go.
3. Outdoor Deck Balusters
A quality deck needs a quality safety railing that does its job and looks good simultaneously. Although timber and steel are popular for outdoor deck balusters, aluminum is the better and more affordable option. Prefabricated aluminum balustrades are lightweight, high-strength, and durable which make them the perfect choice for the safety railing around your deck.
Modern, fully prefabricated, engineer-approved railing systems and fences from timberridgefencecompany.com are available for commercial and residential applications. And because every fence can be machine-manufactured, they’re all identical, guaranteeing a consistent and professional finish for your DIY deck. Plus, you can get creative with your deck railing ideas thanks to the variety of top rail profile options to suit your style.
4. Glass Fence Panels
If you’re not a fan of the traditional picket fence design, then glass fence infill panels are the way to go. Glass balustrade panels offer the safety of commercial-grade aluminum railings with an even more fantastic view.
Check that your aluminum railing system is designed to hold glass panels, then contact your local glass supplier with the measurements. They’ll take care of the rest.
Illuminate your deck area with light fixtures. We’re a big fan of in-deck lighting fixtures because of their seamless installation. For the energy conscious, we recommend LED lights set into the side of your deck or installed on your steps for added shine.
But did you know that you can also install lighting in your aluminum fences? With various lighting options available for internal and external applications, get creative with the look and feel of your DIY deck. You can even go full tech-wizard by installing smart lighting fixtures, giving you control of every light from your smartphone. Although it’s a touch more expensive than regular lights, the results speak for themselves.