Sunday, 8 January 2012

Deck reveal

The very last project for 2011 was to complete all the work which we started on the deck. I'm happy to say that it is now finished and it has come a long way from where it began.

The deck was pre-existing when we purchased the Sow's Ear in 2009. It would've been added by previous owners in the early 90s (it also appears that the deck was extended after it was originally built). Anyway, it is a great space. Our main issue with it was that it was unusable during warm summer days. The tin roof made it too hot to sit out there comfortably.

Our deck is a major part of the house, taking up approximately a quarter of the size of our entire home. Yep. It's huge. The orientation of the deck with the lack of shade trees combined with sun and tin roof equalled HOT AS HADES!

So a retrofit of an insulated ceiling was the solution. Fortunately, we had enough height to do this. We only lost about seven centimetres by adding insulation and a ceiling.

Below are some before shots of the deck. 
This is the deck in mid 2010.  Our outdoor setting was on its last legs and we had three deck chairs remaining. You can also just notice the variation of the different boards used from the middle posts - from old deck to new deck. 

When we renovated the kitchen, we replaced the old casement windows with bi-fold windows and had a servery built. It makes a nice little bar area when we have people over.

This is the deck when the house was on the market in 2009 and is an image from the real estate listing.
And here are the after shots:

There used to be lattice above the balustrade in this section.

The bright white colour scheme works well with our mid-century style of furniture

It's a fantastic entertaining deck, with different zones for seating.

So what did we (um...I mean Jason) do?

Removed extraneous lattice and laserlite roofing
The lattice closed in the deck substantially on two sides. It may have been put in as privacy screening, but over the years the shrubs and trees around our fence line have matured enough to afford us privacy. It is much more open and our views are now unimpeded. We also replaced sections of old brittle laserlite roofing with tin roofing.

The 'heritage' colours of cream, dark green and maroon were well past their use-by-date. We used Dulux exterior acrylic gloss - Vivid white (which is the untinted white straight off the shelf - a bright white that is probably not to everyone's taste but works for us) for the weatherboards and deck railings; Peppercorn Rent (it's a chocolate brown with a green undertone) is the contrasting trim on the top handrails, window sills and guttering. The ceiling is also painted a gloss white, which surprisingly evened out the imperfections and warps that naturally occur when retrofitting anything.

Oiled the decking boards
We oil the floor boards at least once a year with Cabots Decking in a Merbau tint. The tinted stain evens out the variation in colour of the two types of decking boards. It is quite a rich colour, which hides the sins of the past. It is hard to pick the difference now and the boards look more seamless.

Insulated the ceiling
Standard ceiling insulation was used on our deck to make it more comfortable on hot days. Fibro cement sheets were used as to make a panelled ceiling. The panelled ceiling on the deck mirrors the ceiling inside the house which we thought was a nice touch ('same mother, same father' as our literary builder, Mr Rooney, would say) - it makes the deck feel more like a natural extension of the house.

interior panelled ceiling
Insulating the ceiling was a massive job. You can read about how massive it was here here, here and here, if you're super keen...This is real life weekend renovating which happens over a matter of months rather than days!

The difference the insulation and new ceiling has made is amazing. We can now sit out on the deck, have lunch and not fry. Heavenly. Comfort and function can never be underestimated.

Added new light fittings
There were old fluoro lights on the deck but we swapped them out for more discreet bunker lights which provide low ambient lighting which is perfect for entertaining in the evening.

Decorated with new and vintage furniture
We splurged on a new outdoor setting which can seat a crowd of adults and kids. Over the years I've collected and thrifted a number of vintage mid-century pieces such as Casalino chairs, T H Brown bar stools, butterfly chairs, Stoppino nesting tables. A friend of mine also sewed some retro curtain fabric I had into some colourful outdoor cushions. They add a splash of colour while cushioning our backsides!

So there you have it.  A new improved deck which we can use all year round; and another project is crossed off the renovation list. Yay!!

p.s Special mention must go to Mr Rooney, our very helpful builder, who assisted Jason on the weekends to make our 'new' deck possible. Thanks!!


  1. I love your deck to bits! It's so stylish, and friendly as well. You deserve such a brilliant result after all your hard work. Standing ovation from Canberra :))

  2. That looks wonderful, and what a payoff to be comfortable out there! The space was too good to waste.

  3. Looks fantastic and how lucky are you to have such a gorgeous big deck - so perfect for Queensland. My house feels sadly lacking in that department now! :)

  4. Your deck is beautiful and the perfect size for a family with three boys.

    It looks just like another room really.

  5. Beautiful! I'm so lusting over it, I wish we had something like that. Just so perfect!

  6. Looks sensational! I'm so glad you removed that revolting primrose colour. It should be well and truly banned along with Clotted Cream, Magnolia, Brunswick Green and Mission Brown. Onya Jason.

    Jennifer xx

  7. Oh it looks fantastic! The deck looks so lovely now.

  8. I wish our house had such a lovely space. Brilliant job and I love your mid-century furniture.

  9. Make that two standing ovations from canberra

  10. Deck-tastic!!! Well done on such a stylish transformation. It is so good! x

  11. Wow, it looks fantastic. Love the new colours...and the the planter stand reminds me of my childhood...we had one just like that! X

  12. It's absolutely fabulous and after hours of work you must be so satisfied... the pictures make it look easy but your many deck blog posts always reminds me it's not! Loving your furniture collection against all that gleaming white paint, A x

  13. What a great space. I imagine it would be well used. Congrats to Mr Rooney for his unwavering support to the project.

  14. It's really gorgeous, what a transformation! I can't believe there was lattice above the balustrade?!? Rachaelxx

  15. I had a little tremor when you said it took a year. Ours has been happening for a few months. Your final result is spectaculous!

  16. Three cheers, it looks amazing and well worth it. ;-)

  17. It looks wonderful and you will all spend so much time out there. I especially love those bi-fold windows too. Beautiful. F x

  18. I think Peppercorn Rent looks quite close to my suggestion of a colour similar to Oreos. Your deck space looks fabulous and very inviting. Well done ... now relax!

  19. Wow, I love it...especially the windows and that servery.

    Love your choice of furniture...I also liked the chairs the previous owners had with the wooden arms.

  20. I love your deck. It really is like an extension of your house.

  21. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the panelled ceiling. What a beautiful transformation. Standing ovation from my deckchair this morning too. A-M xx

  22. Love it! Fabulous and very liveable. Well done! It makes the year of renovation and waiting all worth it.
    Congrats big time!

  23. Who's a clever deck then? It looks fantastic and must be so useable. I love the bar area :)

  24. Great work, your deck looks like a fabulous place to spend lots of time eating and relaxing. xx

  25. I was so busy telling everyone else they should check out your deck - I forgot to leave a comment. Your deck is amazing. I especially love the detail of the ceiling and your paint choices. What a great space to hang out:) Well done.

  26. I've meaning to ask, how have the Casalas travelled since your cut and polish job?


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