Our deck is done! Our deck is done! We’ve been enjoying our outdoors for, what feels like, the first time since we moved here over 2 years ago. Today, I’m excited to share with you a bunch of photos, cost breakdown (while we paid for the sub-structure and labor, Trex supplied the decking, but we’ll add it all up at the end of the post so you can get an accurate idea of what something like this costs), process and a few unique choices we made. What this post isn’t is a finished, perfectly styled deck. We’re still working on that part, and are committed to letting it evolve over time. You’ll see we have a few pieces in place, and these outdoor sofas are on their way, but the girls are enjoying the open spaces right now, too.
Let’s rewind for a minute, because it’s hard to believe our backyard used to look like this:
These photos were taken a couple months ago, before spring arrived here and all the trees filled in in our backyard, or our neighbors’ yards rather–thanks for all the trees, neighbors! The thing that we didn’t love about our backyard was almost everything. It had a very small patio area that wasn’t really large enough to put anything on. And then we were left with a small grassy area that was never really used because the girls prefer to play in the much larger side yards. It felt like a wasteland. When we looked at the home, before buying it, Chris and I both looked in the backyard and decided right then and there–we’d love to have a deck covering that whole space.
Actually, I guess he wanted a deck and I was originally pining for some pavers or brick. But we nixed that idea pretty quickly after we realized all the Quaking Aspens that surrounded our home. Their roots shoot up in our yard and make the ground pretty uneven which would be a nightmare, and possibly detrimental to the trees, to attempt to flatten out an lay pavers. Which is how we landed on a deck and ultimately, after this post nearly 2 years ago where we asked you all which kind of decking you preferred, a Trex deck in their Clam Shell color. It’s the perfect dark, warm gray. It feels modern and classic at the same time.
Although we started with a smaller yard, it ended up being quite a large deck (around 1100 sq feet!) and minimal maintenance over the years took the cake. I talked a little bit about the substructure in this post, but since we decided to hire out the install, I don’t have a ton of technical information on exactly how it went down. I do know it rained every single day and the man we hired (who we found on a local community Facebook page) worked through it. Every day! He was a complete champ.
One decision we already got a lot of questions about on this before and after post on instagram was the space between the deck and our home. It was a very calculated and conscious decision to leave that space there for one main reason–our window wells. There are ladders in each from the downstairs windows in case of an emergency. They also provide a lot of natural light to our basement so we wanted to keep as much light shining in as possible.
As it turns out, we love the extra greenery and the pretty railings between the house and the deck–it adds so much! I’ll let you in on a secret–the original concrete pad is still under there, so we poured some mulch over it (hooray for weed-free landscaping!) and added some potted trees meant for slim spaces. They are light enough for even Greta to lift if, heaven forbid, she needed to escape through a window well from the basement.
Another fun detail is the white fascia on the stair fronts and around all the edges. I can’t take credit for this one, we had Clam Shell (the same color as our decking) fascia in our designs. Our local Lowe’s store was out of Clam Shell, so Trex suggested white and I can’t believe we were going to do anything else. The white border around everything really pops and makes it all looks so neat and crisp.
Looking out from our back door, you’ll see the deck was built around what will be an outdoor fireplace. Chris and I are still in the design and research phase of that project, but hope to tackle it this summer.
In one corner, you’ll see the deck cuts back into the house, right under the kitchen window. This has always been where Chris likes to cook so we’ll eventually make this a nice outdoor cooking area for him and his grills.
The Trex decking is attached to the substructure with hidden fasteners so there are actually no screws seen from the surface which is really nice visually and for little feet and paws, too.
So, how much does an 1100 sq ft deck cost?
Materials for the substructure $3200
Trex decking, fascia and railings $10,458
There were a few of you that asked for a cost breakdown earlier and I know I said lower than that because we hadn’t actually ordered our railings yet. So that includes all of those, too.
The good news is, all of that cost would be almost 100% recouped if we ever decided to sell (which we have ZERO plans to). Not only does it add square footage to our living space, the Trex deck is virtually maintenance free which is appealing to a lot of buyers. But more than that–we’re just so happy to enjoy it as a family all summer long. You can see we have a few pieces of furniture in place.
We decided on the Ikea ÄPPLARÖ table for it’s simple lines and low price tag and paired it with these stackable tabouret chairs which also were easy on the wallet at 4 for $199. Note: They aren’t officially outdoor chairs, but a lot of the reviews said they used them outdoors with no problems. We live in a dry climate, so I am not too concerned about water and if it does start raining, I love that they stack so easily which will make it easy to store them off-season too.
Last night, we had our first dinner on the deck and the Greta asked, “Can we eat out here every night!?” Absolutely.
We also got this loveseat (it’s on sale!) from Crate and Barrel, along with this planter, lanterns, and small fire pit to tide us over until we build a large fireplace. Although even then, I can see us using this for s’mores like we did over the weekend. It’s the perfect size and has such a great modern shape. I tossed this outdoor pillow from Target on the loveseat and my favorite pillow from The Vintage Rug shop on there too for a little party we had over the weekend.
(Pretend there are candles in those lanterns!) As more furnishings come, things will shift around I’m sure. Right now we just have everything to one side so the girls have room to run and twirl.
Naturally. To close this lengthy post, the deck is a dream for our whole family. And I can tell it will be for years and years to come. We’re excited to host gatherings and parties out here. To really fill it with family and friends and then also to enjoy it as just us. We’ll definitely keep you updated as it fills in and takes shape as a true extension on the inside of our home and then maybe we’ll just have you all over for a big party!
Special thanks to Trex for partnering with us on this massive undertaking, providing the beautiful Trex decking and railings and for believing in our vision. Although they provided some of the materials for this project, they did not pay us or ask us to write anything about their product. Thank you for supporting the brands who support us.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
The next project we’re checking off our 2023 project list is the mudroom! This used to be the laundry room until we built out a much bigger, better laundry room upstairs. So, in the meantime, this space has been exclusively Cricket’s room. Cricket will still have a special space here, but we’re transforming this dingy […]
Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!
Make yourself right at home
Make yourself right at home