19 Ways to Upgrade Your Deck

1.  Clean It, Repair It, and Stain It

Before you add furniture, accents, and other items to your deck, you need to first have a solid foundation. Even a well-planned placement of items cannot hide an un-restored deck or dirty and grimy boards. Plan to wash your deck each year and every other year plan to wash and stain / seal at least the floor.  Railing and vertical surfaces can wait longer to stain / seal.   The reason your deck needs stained and/or sealed, is to protect your deck from weather and sun.

2.  Store and Sit on It

Just like window seats within your home, built-in or store-bought benches on the deck can create seating space that can be doubled for storage space.  The storage area is a great place to store your furniture cushions from the rain and from sun exposure.  Also if you add more throw pillows to your existing furniture, it will add another level of comfort and style.

3.  Find Some Shade

A wooden pergola is a great way to add shade to your existing deck.  The difference of a Pergola versus a Roof is that a pergola will still allow some sun to come through on the cooler days and also allow a night time view of the sky.  A big perk of having a pergola is that most doors from the interior to the deck is in a kitchen’s eating area or dining room.  By having some shade produced outside of the door, the sun won’t make those rooms so hot.  Also an easy way to add some color and design to your existing pergola is purchase some outdoor fabric panels and lace them through the wood structure.

4.  Upgrade the Railings

Many builder decks usually have wood 2×2’s that connect to the frame and then have a wooden top cap.  There are many different railing choices out there to create an upgraded feel on your deck.  (hint if you have black spindles or railing, it makes your current deck feel bigger and more open.

5.  Blend in the Comfort

Your friends and family appreciate places to sit.  A built-in bench or other furniture made of the same deck materials as your deck is a great way to blend in your seating to the surrounding.  Add some throw pillows and cushions for added comfort.

6.  Soften your Edges

A perfect way to add some color and soften your deck edges is to plant flowers and tall grass around the deck perimeter.  If you have potted plants on your deck, lay them on some bricks or other supports so they are not sitting directly on your deck.  You don’t want to trap moisture on your deck surface.

7.  Add a Gate

A gate on top of the stairs of your deck is a perfect way to keep the children on your deck and your pets in your yard.  Just like railing choices, there are also many different gate ideas.  Most choose a gate that matches the railing style.

8.  Grow some Food

I have seen many different plants on decks before, but the kind I admire the most are the ones that I can snack on.  Also the plants are usually just a short walk from the kitchen when your cooking or near where you grill your food at.  My favorite items that I have seen grown are Mint Leaves, Tomatoes, Beans, Peas, Carrots, and even Raspberries.

9.  Inside the Outside

Extend your living space onto your deck and enjoy easy entertaining throughout the warmer months.  Use furnishings and fixtures to create different living spaces for sitting, eating, cooking, and a relaxing space with a gas fire pit.

10.  Build an Addition

If you want your deck larger, you can usually add on.  But think differently – add an attached gazabo or another area with a roof or pergola that is not directly attached to your house.  Create an addition for your deck that extends further into your backyard and create another cozy living space.

11.  Bring Out the Sound

There are many outdoor weatherproof outdoor sound systems on the market today.  These systems can be hung up under your roof or can sit on your deck or table.  Look into wireless speakers for easier installation and no risk of tripping on wire.  Don’t forget most of them will have to have electricity near by unless they use battery.  Music is a great way to more enjoy relaxing outside and also creates a party atmosphere for when you are entertaining.

12.  Furnish with Style

A deck is like any other living space inside the home.  Before you purchase any outdoor furniture, make sure you look at the many choices available.  Furnishings can be made from many different types of materials and also the fabric of many different colors and patterns.  Include an outdoor rug and a fire pit to create a warm and inviting gathering space.  I do suggest when you add a rug to a wooded decking floor, remove the rug throughout the season to allow your wood decking to breath.  Also a gas fire pit is recommended when sat on your deck for fire reasons.  If you have a concrete patio in your yard, a wood fire pit also creates a fun time for those that enjoy tending to the fire.

13.  Oasis outside your door

Transform your deck and patio into an oasis with a hot tub.  It is best to add a hot tub to a concrete patio under or around your deck, but if you would like to add a hot tub to your deck – check the structure.   To increase privacy, surround the hot tub with either tall plants or a privacy wall.

14.  Finish Floor to Ceiling

Between the ground and under your deck framing, add skirt boards or trim out the to give your deck a finished look.  Then add a door and this detail could also allow hidden storage.

15.  Room for More

Turn your deck into a style statement on its own.  Extending your deck in one or several directions or adding multiple levels also increases style and function.  Also these additions create options for different outdoor living areas.

16.  Cooking Outdoors

Decide on a space on your deck to build an outdoor kitchen with a grill, sink, under-counter refrigerator, and a wine cooler.  If you really want to get fun, add a tiki bar to create a fun atmosphere.


17.  Light up the Night

Many lighting options exist for decks and outdoor spaces.  Some lights use solar energy and others use a low-voltage power system.  Lights create ambience to your outdoor spaces and is also used for safety when walking outside after the sun goes down.  It is a good idea to add lights on your stairs and also if your deck has multiple levels.  Other lighting ideas are small lights that attach to your deck posts and also inside your railing.  If you really want to live on the edge, find an outdoor water proof lamp and set it on a side table to create a unique outdoor evening experience.

18.  Huh…

Adding a statue or a large piece of 3-D artwork is a great way to add style to your outdoor living space and is an excellent conversation starter while entertaining.  You can add pieces that blend into the surrounding or go the opposite way and create a “Wow” factor.

19.  More Color

Color is the way to create moods and atmospheres.  Buy some colorful throw pillows, colored lanterns and add an exterior canvas painting to your exterior wall.  Different colors and patterns will bring your outdoor living space together.  With the canvas paintings, don’t be afraid to hang it on the siding on your wall.  Try not to puncture holes into your siding, but instead get siding clips made specifically to hang onto your siding.  Also make sure the painting is secured on the wall for the windy times.