Beautiful Decks — The Least Expensive Living Space You Can Buy


Let’s continue our look at some beautiful deck photos emailed to me by


Creativity Rules

Yesterday, in the first of a series of posts about decks, I showed you a photograph and did a little “Thumbs-Up” / “Thumbs-Down” thing where I pointed out what I liked and didn’t so-much like about the deck in the picture. I have to change my course with this deck because…

I like everything about it.

Maybe the thing to do is list my favorite features, in order, and tell you what makes them so special (and how you can do the same thing)!

1. The Columns – I love these columns and they totally show what a difference a few hours of creative work can make! How often have you seen a simple 4×4 or 6×6 post used as a column on a deck? I see it all the time. This deck shows creativity and imagination.

That’s what I love about decks; just a little bit of effort for very little cost can make a HUGE impact! A column just like this can be made by wrapping a standard 4×4 post with some pretty natural wood 1×6 material. The base, the raised panel look on the sides, and the cap are all just cut out of regular lumber stock. Just make sure you use good all weather material like cedar, cypress, pressure treated, etc.

2. The Railing – Again, creativity is king! This is a simple rail to make but it adds elegance and class. It might also serve the purpose of opening up the visual line-of-sight from a seated position. Nothing is more frustrating than sitting in a beautiful place on a beautiful deck and having the rail at exactly eye level!

3. The Split Levels – Another great way to add creativity and real architectural interest to a deck is by using more than one level. If you were building a house, this would mean a substantial extra expense. Not so when building a deck! Having more than one level looks great, is great for living on, and costs little, if any, extra!

4. The White Trim – I like the way they’ve painted the stair risers and the visible support framing white. It sets the deck apart from the surrounding landscape and makes it more like a room.

Decks Are Rooms

I’ve mentioned before that my house has as much deck space as living space in the house. Our deck effectively doubles the size of the house. Even as large as it is, I think I only bought about $800.00 worth of material to build it. It couldn’t have been more worth it!

Our deck has six or more distinct “rooms”.

1. Dining Area – with a large enough table to seat six or more.

2. Kitchen – You’ve seen my Tiki bar, right?

3. DIY Outdoor Shower Enclosure– Soon to be improved, but used very often in the long Florida summer.

4 and 5. – Seating Areas – We have at least two distinct seating areas that are not part of the other “rooms”.

6. Garden – One whole area has raised beds for flower and vegetable gardening. My wife and son are loving the gardening thing and I love to sit over there.

It’s Affordable!

A commenter in yesterdays post asked about doing a deck on a budget. I would encourage you to really figure out what it would cost to do the deck you want. If you compare that cost to the value you’ll receive, I think you’ll find that a deck is one of the best deals going for additional living space.

I still have a few pictures to show you, so check back tomorrow for more on decks!

Have a great day!


  1. says

    That is a beautiful deck! It looks so elegant and inviting!

    Today it is supposed to top out at 105 degrees (Thank You Lord for AC)… in the PacNW, that qualifies as a bonafide weather anomaly! Hope you are staying cooler in Florida! :)

  2. Kristen says

    Nice to see you back! This deck is gorgeous. We really want to extend our deck. Unfortunately my sweet husband is not very handy! Meaning we have to hire someone to do most things.

    My pet peeve is our darn railings, having to strain my neck to see our beautiful birds feeding at our many feeders.
    Keep sending these pictures. I need the inspiration!

  3. Darcy says

    I only know you through your blog but you have been on my mind lately. I just wanted you to know that I am praying for you during your quiet time.

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