Adele DuranGO
Adele DuranGO
  • Tutorial Team
  • Bayfield, CO

Woe to WOW Smart Deck Transformation


Major UGLY! The deck fence blocked our pretty views. And you had to maneuver an obstacle course of steps to get to the kitchen-garden entry to our country home.
Goofy concrete stairs, poor planning, yikes! All this just HAD TO GO!
Plus we had a very low budget. Thankfully, we're high on Creativity!
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
FIRST: We needed to rethink traffic navigation. Stairs were ridiculous. Varying levels more attractive if handled correctly. One short step down ok. One short step up ok. I didn't want to remove the old posts and deck. The stairs definitely needed to go.
I wanted a more graceful turnaround... I love curves to complement our hilly surroundings.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
Told myself to THINK OVERSIZED, out of the box, and VARY the ANGLES. I opened up the whole feeling by cutting the lumber larger than the area provided and letting it jut over like a FLOATING PLATFORM.
I really wanted those curves, but lack the carpentry skills to do the skirt in wood. So we used SHEET METAL for SKIRT -- ha ha! EZ! Thought it looked cool shiny as is, but don't mind watching how it will age into the color of the sucker rods. Muriatic Acid would speed the aging process, but I chose to keep it & let it go naturally -- see below.
Another cool detail: Added an inset into the deck for a PLANTER BOX.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
Here's a later picture showing how the sheet metal is beginning too age into the same colors as the also-aging wood.
Also shows the full expanse of the decks.
FENCE SLATS REMOVED. Replaced with SOLID IRON SUCKER RODS that are used in oil wells, available in long lengths we could cut to size. (Rods also helpful as stakes & pedestals in the gardens.)
Drilled posts to exact diameter & wiggled them thru the holes. LOVED it. We were even able to bend rods, slowly, using two people and a tree... to curve our corners nicely.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
We also made a pergola to the side of the new deck, overlapping a slate patio. Angled the top of the pergola as well & varied it's stack. I did not want to stare through a solid column, so we drilled holes into the rough cedar posts and used the sucker rods there too. See details below.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
I love that I thought to make a little corner -- perfect for a good bottle of red -- or a beer if you prefer.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
Here's a later view of that same garden planted... The slate Thing to the left is a water feature I built years ago that I converted the following year into an herb & succulent garden.
Confession: I had discovered, after concreting it in, that I needed a larger water basin than what I had used to cascade the falls more effectively. Oh well! Lesson learned.
Since I needed more space for herbs and succulents, above the hungry maddening squirrels.... I converted it to solve the problem & serve my current tastes.
woe to wow smart deck transformation, decks
Here it is again, one month apart, side by side. Before Spring planting. We absolutely LOVE the transformation. Saved a bundle too!

Suggested materials:

  • Redwood lumber  (lumber yard)
  • Rough cedar posts  (lumber yard)
  • Oil well sucker rods  (recycler)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Carolyn
    on Oct 3, 2016

    I have never heard of sucker rods. Where can they be found, I live in Michigan. Could something else be substituted? I love, love, love your your deck. Great job

  • Emmawilliams1
    on Oct 3, 2016

    Gorgeous home and surroundings...do you care to share approx. the cost of doing what you did on a budget? thanks....

    • Adele DuranGO
      on Oct 3, 2016

      Hard to remember since we bought a lot of lumber & reconstruction materials. The grand total seemed to be around $5000 including pergola, new curved deck, all new rails & paying two helpers.

  • Barbara
    on Oct 8, 2016

    I didn't think about them rotating. Are they hard to bend? They are used around here alot for cattle/horse dry lots.

    • Adele DuranGO
      on Oct 14, 2016

      Two people pulling gently with a tree between them worked for us. Then, after you slide it into your drilled-hole, use some extra multi-purpose outdoor adhesive to keep it from rotating. Has held up perfectly fine over a couple years now.

Join the conversation

2 of 81 comments
  • Lily Schlender
    on Jan 6, 2017

    beautiful ! with a jem like this why would you want or need a 2nd home? : ) great views looks so relaxing.

  • Carol Cole
    on Apr 7, 2019

    Beautiful job, well done. really love it.

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