I love Before and After photographs. They tell the story so well and you know what is said about “a picture telling a thousand words.” I live in the Pacific northwest and it rains, hence, black slippery slime mold happens. If I had it do over wood decks; cedar, treated or otherwise, would not have been installed. They become skating rinks in the winter. Composite wood is beyond my budget so there you go: slime.
So to reduce the maintenance of pressure washing and sealing, I decided to remove as much of the deck as was no longer really needed. Last summer Phase 1 was started with the removal of 1/3 of the main deck which is about 60′ long. The deck is one of the main features of the landscape and is where we spend most of our time entertaining outdoors. To play it safe, the plan was to remove only a portion to see how we liked it. Afterward the removal, we happily discovered that the area looked better than the deck.
The new area connected two paths so a natural pass-through happened (very feng shui). We found pieces of broken aggregate/cement which were inexpensive and recycled to be used for the faux stones. Crushed gravel was placed between the chunks and to bring in some softness (balance the yin with the yang), baby tear’s were placed between the blocks.
Since Phase 1 was so successful this spring Phase 2 commenced, and another third of the deck was removed. This area was around the built-in fire pit. Below the deck was fire brick (as it was never seen) but was exposed now. So we surrounded the bricks with black basalt which match the numerous rock walls around the property. Baby tear’s will be added hither and on and the new cement blocks will age and look like the ones from last summer soon.
We will not be removing any more deck as the remaining area supports the tent which we affectionately call “the summer house.” The wood deck accommodates the chairs being pulled out easily from the tables.The cement blocks are great but certainly not completely level and I’m afraid the chairs would always rock. We did keep a small part of the deck closest to the house for the swinging chair, side tables, and Adirondack chairs. The step-down adds a design feature which we like.
My next post will show what we also did recently with the deck on the other side of the house. Demolition is fun! No need to add: just remove!