Summer is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. For most homeowners, that means taking advantage of the deck, patio, lanai, or other personal retreat areas of the backyard. For the deck, the furniture, grill, and other accessories are likely covered up and promptly in the rear-view mirror by the fall and winter. That’s ok! We all do it. But, before planning to use the deck, buying a new grill or a new fire pit, or just pulling out a chair and enjoying that first warm late spring day, take steps to ensure the deck is safe and ready to go. Here are four tips to make the deck and backyard oasis, your ultimate outdoor living space, a special place to enjoy summer safely.
1. Safety check first
The first step is a simple safety walkaround if the deck hasn’t been checked since the fall. Check for splinters (no one likes to step on those or get them in their fingers), check to ensure there are no loose fasteners, and check to ensure the railings are secure. Go below the deck and check the undercarriage for any storm, termite, or pest damage that might’ve occurred during the winter.
But most importantly, check to see if the deck is secured to the home.
2. Making your deck safe from natural disasters
A secure deck is critical. These kinds of structural details can get lost, and it’s essential to have the deck checked to ensure it is secured to your home.
What do you look for, and how can you tell if the deck is secured? Most residential decks are supported on one side by a ledger that is bolted or “lagged” to your home’s band joist. This connection is critical since a failure here can cause a deck to collapse. Again, it’s a simple visual for you to see. If it looks rotten or separated, have a professional come out and check.
For those on the west coast, this is important because of earthquakes. It is essential to have the deck checked to ensure it is secured to the seismic code. For those in the Midwest and east coast, summer means hurricane season. A secure deck means the difference between a collapsed deck and one that withstands hurricane winds. One tip if you live in a hurricane-prone area: Trim back any trees in or around the yard. Falling branches and tree limbs can cause considerable damage to the deck.
3. New railings can make any deck feel and look like new
Now that the deck is checked, safe, and secure, it’s time to focus on the look and its use —in other words, the fun part!
Consider an aluminum cable railing system by RailFX. This solution offers security, safety, and beauty on balconies and can open the deck to clear views of the backyard or, if you’re lucky, views of the mountains or the ocean. RailFX cable railing solutions not only add outdoor appeal, they add a durable, long-lasting, and elegant railing solution.
4. Don't forget accessories
For the pizza fan, add a pizza grill, an affordable option that adds a touch of fun, is easy to use, and provides a great entertainment focal point. If the deck grill isn’t cutting it or was ruined by the harsh winter elements, there are many options on the market, including the Char‑Broil® TRU‑Infrared™ Grill. Fire rings are a popular choice, too, including the Solo Stove, a smokeless fire pit built for the backyard and beyond.
And let’s not forget outdoor furniture that is comfortable and practical like Sunbrella’s outdoor line. Always a stylish choice that is also designed to endure all the elements of nature. Mix and match fabric colors, styles, and textures to bring your vision to life.
Whatever the accessories, the deck area should be a fun and safe way to enjoy all that summer offers.
Interested in learning how to make the deck safe and enjoyable while opening up your view? Get inspired and see how RailFX has been used in homes to create the wow factor.