20 Ways to Upgrade Your Deck
Clean, Repair, and Stain It
Before you add anything to your deck, you must first create a solid foundation. Even well-planned cosmetic changes can't hide a deck in disrepair or dirty, grimy boards. Set time each year to clean and restain your deck flooring to ensure it stands up better against the elements.
Sit and Store
Just like window seats inside your home, built-in benches on the deck can be made to offer ample storage space below for outdoor games and decor. Cover the top of the benches with comfy cushions upholstered in fabrics that will stand up to the elements. Comfy outdoor throw pillows add another level of comfort and style.
A wooden pergola dressed in panels of outdoor fabric allows entertaining even when the weather isn't perfect. For a more sturdy covering that can stand up to heavy rainfall, consider purchasing a custom roof frame outfitted with clear polycarbonate panels.
A railing, gate, or other entry feature can turn your deck into a safe, cozy enclosure. Plus, the railing provides a platform for fitted planters, birdbaths or bird feeders, or other garden ornaments. Top your railing with a ledge so it can double as a spot to set drinks.
Blend in Comfort
Guests and family members appreciate places to sit, and built-in benches can be made to look like original parts of the deck. Whether the benches are freestanding or attached, make them blend in by building them from the same materials used for the deck itself.
Whether bursting with flowers or foliage, plants are the perfect way to enliven a space and soften a deck's edges. If you have a wooden deck, hang the pots or place them on brick or other supports so they're not in direct contact with the floor when you water the plants -- that can lead to wood rot.
Rev Up Railings
Railings can do more than enhance the safety and appearance of your deck -- they can also make a style statement. Decorative spindles and ball tops are among the many specialty products available to embellish railings.
Grow a Feast
If you gave up your garden to build or expand your deck, grow veggies in containers on your deck for an eclectic look and homegrown food for dinner. Start off easy with tomatoes, beans, peas, and carrots. Put the containers on rolling supports so you can move them around easily.
Reach for the Sky
Add tall, evenly spaced posts around the perimeter of your deck and connect them with glass panels to block wind while retaining stunning views. For a more rustic look, use wooden posts and connect them with tree limbs.
Bring the Inside Out
Extend your living space onto your deck and enjoy easy entertaining throughout the warmer months. Use furnishings and fixtures to create distinct zones for grilling, dining, and lounging.
Build an Addition
An attached gazebo can serve as a wonderful entertaining space when outfitted with comfy seating and lighting. Other structures, such as greenhouses, can also serve as convenient getaway spots while still fulfilling their designated purposes.
Wire for Sound
A weatherproof outdoor sound system is a party-ready finishing touch for any deck. Hung up and out of the way, these speakers decrease unwanted foot traffic on this small deck and create the perfect party atmosphere throughout the warmer months.
Furnished with Style
Before you purchase any outdoor furniture, make sure you consider all of the choices available. Furnishings made of hardy woods, aluminum, steel, and recycled plastics are some of the most common options available today. Include an outdoor rug and a fire pit to create a warm and inviting gathering space.
Spring for Upgrades
Give your deck a big style update by replacing tired wooden rail spindles with wrought-iron ones. If you live in a wetter climate, you might also want to consider switching out standard wooden deck boards for rot-resistant composite planks that will increase the staying power of your entire deck.
Make a Splash
Transform your deck into a luxurious oasis with the addition of a hot tub. Designate a corner or add on to the deck to accommodate the tub. To increase privacy, surround the hot tub with tall plants, mature trees, or even an add-on such as a screened gazebo.
Polish the Edges
Add skirtboards or trellis material around the perimeter of your deck between its surface and the ground. The detail lends a finished look to the project and will allow the space below the deck to function as handy storage.
Room for More
Turn your deck into a style statement all on its own by adding a curved edge for visual interest. Extending your deck in one or several directions or adding multiple levels also increases style and function.
Create an outdoor kitchen, complete with grill, sink, undercounter refrigerator, wine cooler, and eating area. Have money left over? Add a tiki bar to create a fun party atmosphere.
Light It Up
Solar or low-voltage post-top lights create ambience when your dinner guests linger during a summer evening. If your deck features multiple levels, you might also consider adding small lights on each step to prevent falls after the sun goes down.
Tucked into your deck flora, statuaries can be tasteful and even mysterious. This sculpture adds classic elegance and functions as a great conversation starter while entertaining.