Deck Days are Over

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter. However, living in North Carolina where it can be 65 degrees one day and a “polar vortex” the next, I’m confident that we will see a few springlike days before the Vernal Equinox. That’s why I’m so eager to continue our backyard makeover!

If you thought sitting on the back porch enjoying a cold one wasn’t an extreme sport, you haven’t been on our deck. You’ve got to have a real sense of adventure to want to even stand on it. However, many of our friends and family have been up to the challenge (whether they realized it or not!). We’ve sipped many glasses of vinho verde and even hosted dinners and cook-outs out there. Though you may have experienced a chair leg slipping through the planks, I am very glad all of our guests have survived our deck.

Our back deck
Our back deck

When we had our home inspection, we were told that the deck needed a lot of TLC or just needed to come down altogether. As homeowners, safety is our goal. But outdoor fun is also very important! So that is why it has taken us a year to finally bite the bullet and tear the deck down. We wanted to have a plan in place so that we would not have to go long without the backyard fun part. After we decided to build a new replacement deck ourselves, Ben planned it all out using Lowe’s Deck Designer. It’s such a cool program that generates a bill of materials based on your personal deck design! Then they deliver the materials so you can get to work. The next step in the process was taking the design to the City of Raleigh to get a permit.


After many visits and phone calls, it became evident that our dream deck would not become a reality. The City of Raleigh requires a five foot setback from the property line. To give you an idea as to why this setback is such a setback in our own plans, our current deck (though we knew it was not up to any kind of code to begin with), is only set back two feet from the property line! That is how narrow the lots are on our street. Anyway, Ben was determined to find another way to make our deck design work. He found an exception for our neighborhood that stated that our deck could be set back three feet! Not five! Yay!

Womp womp.

Unfortunately, there is discrepancy over the definition of an accessory and an attached structure and yada yada yada, enough back and forth went down for us to conclude that our perfect deck was just not going to happen.

Back to square one, and on to plan b! Ok, so we still do not have a plan b. But the show must go on!

Yesterday, within two hours time, our crappy old deck went from barely standing, to shoved into a dumpster*. Like many of our home projects, I have to give so many thanks to our families! I did not do anything except take pictures get lunch for the work crew, but Ben, his parents, and my dad got it done.

Deck Demo




Check out all of the once-hidden-by-heinous-deck potential!

Because our fence was built up to the deck, we will need to call Harrison Fence to have them add an extension on to this front corner of the yard. Since Quailford still needs a yard to run around in, the dads and Ben put up a temporary fence in the meantime.

Temporary Fence
All in a day’s work!

Now we will need to start planning our plan b, which will be some form of patio. There are so many ideas and so much we can possibly do to make our backyard truly magical! I am excited to share another update on that sooner rather than later.

*This was our second time renting a dumpster from NC Dumpster to get rid of construction materials and cleaning house. We rented a 15-foot 2-ton limit dumpster for 2 weeks for less than $300. Definitely worth it!