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Home Tour: The deck, our outside dance floor and living room!

Nov 20 2017 -
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A post all about one of my favorite “rooms” of our house: our outside deck and my dance floor! When my grandparents’ lived here this was their least utilized outside of the home – the only way to reach it was to walk all the way around the house! My plan to add this deck came naturally and was one of the first things I was certain I wanted to add and, like most of the projects on this renovation, Joe and I built our deck together. I put in almost every joist hanger (all 8 million of them…) Joe dug almost every 4×4 post and we dropped the joists in together. From there Joe took it over and laid down every last deck board over the course of three days. With the depth of the deck 11 feet all the way around we used 12 foot green treated deck boards that Joe put in as tight as he could together and then cut off along the edge with a skill saw.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

Why did Joe put the boards in as tight as he could together? Because green treated wood SHRINKS A LOT. Unless you have the time to let it fully dry out in a protected area for at least a year any green treated board is going to shrink. If you’ve ever used it I’m sure you’ve noticed how the screw holes fill up with “water” when you drive them in. So, when someone tries to tell you that you need to put gaps between your boards feel free to inform them that it all depends on the material that you’re working with. You can see in a few of the close ups that all of our boards now are a good 1/8th of an inch (and sometimes more) a part. (You want at least a little bit of a gap between your boards so water has somewhere to go instead of sitting on your deck.)

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

I always dreamed of a home that was never more then a few steps to outside, that I could flow in and out of our kitchen and our living room from our deck like they were all just part of the home. I am VERY excited to say that I managed it! We have three glass exterior doors that come out to this deck, one on either end of our kitchen and a 72 inch glass door in our living room. Did everyone think I was nuts to add this many doors? Of yeah but I haven’t regretted it for a second! I love that I can open up all three of our deck doors and our home literally gets 700 square feet of living space added to it!

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

We chose green treated lumber because it was affordable and very very durable. I always planned to finish the entire deck as well as our privacy fence in a red wood stain/sealant but I’ve decided that I’m not going to be doing any of that. Why? Because we live in northern Minnesota and I have known many people who spent A LOT of money (not to mention time) on exterior stains, sealants and finishes on their decks to see it not even last one winter. It is a certainty that, in our climate, it will fail (even in a very mild climate most outdoor finishes can’t guarantee any durability past 5 years anyway.) SO, this is it, I’m going to let our deck and privacy fence fade naturally to gray.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

My last posts you guys saw was how I finally finished our deck rails and gates! And that’s really what’s been holding me up when it comes to sharing our deck here on the blog. I just couldn’t make up my mind and because we didn’t NEED deck rails (Joe and I are child free and currently dog-less) it got put on the back burner. Go and check out how we did the “rails” by clicking here and how I built the gates by going here.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

My indoor to outdoor furniture held up through two summers and two winters and that’s with the temperature going from 100+ degrees Fahrenheit in the summers and downwards of nearly -40 degrees in the winters. It is no longer perfect (if you look close you can tell) and I have basically swore off paint for outdoor furniture from this point on. And, though I love both the sofa and the chair, we also have one big complaint about them: they’re really low! I am playing around with the idea of adding to the sofa and chair somehow so A: we wouldn’t actually need the cushions and B: to make the seats higher and C: to add some cohesion between the end tables I built and the furniture because, right now, they’re from two different universes.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

My adorable little solar light jars that I made last year are still holding up and working great! This is a HUGE space (700 square feet!) and my dream someday is to add outdoor string lights around the whole thing. The bench I built a few weeks ago dealt with the “dead-zone” we never used in the back and the sun loungers have given me a wonderful spot to just soak up the heat.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

Many people have commented on the height of our railing because it is REALLY high: 4 feet! When Joe and I were adding them we made this choice intentionally. We wanted to be able to step up to it, lay our arms on it and have a nice high safe surface to put a drink. (Our last dog was a 120 pound mastiff and we always plan on having huge dogs so a tall railing makes a lot of sense for us…) I like them this high but they’re certainly not for everyone.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

I finished up the base for my barn door table this summer and I am SO glad I finally got it done for us, we used it all the time! One day we will replace our little grill with a full size one and that will free up my grill station with a granite top to be a buffet right by the table. At first (if you check out my post about it) the table we had placed in a different spot but it needed to be close to where the food will be and its so handy having it two steps from the kitchen door.

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

An addition that I simply did not get done was painting the other exterior doors black and adding the last screen doors this summer. I finished one of them last year but I will have to buy the other screen doors or build them – so they are definitely on the top of my list for next spring. A project Joe and I have planned for WAY down the road is adding a little screened in porch out here too. It will encompass the kitchen window and door on the north side and complete the roof line into an A. There are still many things I can’t wait to do out here but I’ve had to really just hack away at it a little bit at a time. Even when you do things yourself, with a space this big, I’ve really had to scrimp and save for every project!

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

This is my very favorite place in the summers, it is the deck we got married on and the place Joe and I shared our very first dance as man and wife! 🙂

A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!A post revealing our deck, our outside living space and living room, our 700 square foot dance floor, how we built it, designed it and finished it!

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8 Comments

  1. November 22, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Your deck looks amazing!! I love how cozy and inviting it looks. Thanks for sharing the details!

    • November 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you so much Diana! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  2. November 23, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Great job on the deck and amazing views. I love your barn. So sweet that you were able to be married at your Grandma’s home. Have a great week!

  3. Jann Olson
    November 23, 2017 at 4:29 am

    It really is an amazing project and I love how it turned out! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    • November 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much Jann! Have a great Holiday

  4. November 26, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Beautifully done and your view is amazing!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder

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