When we moved into this house, it was brand new. We’d chosen the lot, worked with a builder and watched the house as it was built. Once the house was finished, we moved in with lots of new appliances and even a lot of new furniture. After living in an older house previously, it was a nice change to not have to worry about anything breaking, falling apart or needing to be replaced.
And we enjoyed our new house for a couple of years without much concern about upkeep. The builder is still working on some houses in the neighborhood and has come by from time to time to check on things for us. So when he asked us why we hadn’t stained the deck a month ago, we weren’t sure what to say.
I know it sounds silly, but we thought our deck was done. They built it, we walk on it, it’s done, right?
Yeah, not right. It turns out (you probably already know this) that you have to actually stain or seal the wood of the deck or it won’t last very long. Now that’s the kind of thing I think a builder should do before the family moves in. But since my builder clearly didn’t feel the same way, my husband and I realized that we needed to have the deck stained as soon as possible.
You can see how light the wood is in this photo; it’s almost gray colored:
We realized that staining the deck would be a big job, considering how much wood we have. All of the wood on the stairs, the landing, the outdoor deck and the screened in porch would all have to be stained. My husband and I talked about hiring someone to do the staining for us, but the estimates we got were much too expensive for us. So my husband agreed to do the work himself.
Here’s a photo of the unstained deck on the back of the house:
It’s a LOT of wood.
So my husband headed to the local home improvement store and bought a lot of deck stain and applicators. We don’t really have much furniture, so the girls and I helped by moving our small table and the kids’ toys down below the deck. (As it turns out, this was a bad idea since the stain sometimes drips between the wood and onto everything down below.)
My husband cleaned the wood and then applied the stain. It was a fairly simple process, but was extremely time consuming and back-breaking work. While my husband worked, my job was to keep the kids off of the deck and to help whenever he needed anything. That doesn’t sound like hard work, but our son was too little to understand why he couldn’t go up the deck stairs to see Daddy and kept making a break for it. The kids spent a lot of time on the swings and in the back yard while Daddy worked up above.
And after two long days of staining, my husband was finished. The new wood color was gorgeous:
I’m thrilled that it’s done. Not only does it look much prettier, but now we won’t have to worry about weather damage to the deck.
I’m proud of my husband for doing such a great job on the deck. It’s the biggest home improvement project we’ve tackled so far and I know it was a difficult job for him. Since he did the deck, I’m planning to take on the next few projects that come up. I love to work on home improvement tasks, so I’d love to get a few more things done this summer if possible.
I usually like to look online for inspiration and have been browsing Houselogic.com for more summer project ideas. Since it was created by the National Association of REALTORS, I know that it has great information about what I need to do to get the most value and enjoyment out of our home.
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