Yay…We Have a New Deck!

Guys…our deck is FINALLY complete and I love it so much. I never really thought I could love a deck like this, but here we are. This deck makeover has completely changed the function and layout of our backyard and I couldn’t be happier.

Before we get to the goods, let’s take a look at what it looked like when we got started…

The Deck Before

Backyard of our Finn Fixer Upper

When we bought our home, the deck was only a few years old. In fact, it still needed to be stained. While it was totally fine, we never loved the layout because it cut off access to the yard and felt closed off.

Our deck before

I ended up staining it (more about that process in this blog post) and it worked well for us for two years. But once we knew that we were going to work on the rest of the backyard, it just made sense for us to redesign the layout of the deck.

The Deck Progress

Our deck makeover - progress to the finish line

We officially started the backyard demo in mid-May and it was a bit of a process to get the deck where it is today. Materials were delayed, so that set our timeline back a lot. Luckily, the crew was able to work on other areas of the backyard while we waited for all of the supplies to roll in.

Backyard renovation progress

The crew removed the stairs and took off all of the outside boards. When they did that, they realized that the deck footings and structure were in good shape. Since lumber is at an all-time high right now, we decided to use the footings and base from the old deck and rebuild from there. This saved time and money!

Making progress on our back deck

From there, they poured new footings and the structure for the stairs.

Updates on our new TimberTech deck

Then, it was time to add the composite decking we chose from TimberTech, along with the black posts that would hold the railings.

TimberTech deck materials

I really love the color we chose, which is “Pecan”, from their Legacy Collection, and I’m excited that this material won’t need any maintenance. Plus, it can withstand the harsh weather conditions here in Chicago.

Our deck makeover - progress

The crew then finished up all of the decking and we had to wait awhile for the cable rails to come in. I didn’t mind at all because I finally had workable deck. I could walk out the back door to take out the trash or go to the garage. Yay!

The Deck Makeover

Our deck makeover

And here’s our final deck makeover…it’s finished!

Our deck makeover reveal
Our deck makeover

My biggest takeaway from this project is that layout is so very important. You can use the best materials, but if the layout sucks, it’s not going to be quite as amazing as you want it to be. I’m really happy we ended up creating a smaller, but wider deck. That allowed us to maximize our patio space and create the open feel we want.

Our deck makeover

The stairs are fantastic, as they’re really deep (16 inches), and really wide (9 feet). I’ve already spent time sitting on them and watching Rory play on the pavers below.

The wide stairs on our new composite decking from TimberTech
Using composite decking for our backyard makeover

This has also been a good place to teach Rory how to walk up and down the stairs. It’s much easier to practice here than inside on our tighter staircase.

Our deck before
The view from our kitchen

The view from the kitchen is now 100 times better, too. Before, we just stared at big, bulky railings. Now it’s wide and it opens down into the yard. It’s nice to have sight lines from the kitchen all the way down to the patio. And soon we’ll have our large outdoor table, chairs, and outdoor TV setup out there, so the view will be even better!

The Contemporary Railings

The contemporary railings

We waited awhile for the railings to be done, but whoa…it was worth it! I love the sleek black railings we chose along with the stainless steel cable rails.

Steel cable rails on this deck makeover
Contemporary railings from Timbertech for our deck makeover

It’s very modern and streamlined. Our old deck was really bulky, so we wanted to go with something that felt lighter and cleaner. This definitely achieves that goal!

Before & After

Our deck before
Our deck makeover
Our deck before
Our deck makeover

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. It took most of the summer to get done, but we are loving the end result. I can’t wait to enjoy this space as a family of (soon-to-be) four, very soon!

Deck Makeover – Sources

our deck makeover with composite decking

Composite Decking (Color “Pecan”) // Black Contemporary Railings // Cable Rail Infill // Black Sconces // Sonos Speakers 

What’s Next?

our backyard makeover project

Now that the deck is done, it’s time to move on to other areas of the yard. We’re planning to add some big bushes and plants near the deck in those open spots with lots of rocks. Plus, we still have to add our grill up there, along with a couple of chairs I chose for the deck. It will look a lot less bare soon!

Soon, we’ll dive into the landscaping and I’ll share all of the scoop about the new bushes, trees, and plants we have back there. We went from having zero trees in our backyard to five awesome ones. Can’t wait to share more then…


Our deck makeover

Catch Up on Our Backyard Renovation

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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