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Is Your Deck Ready For BBQ Season?

By John Conklin

Now that warmer weather is here and the promise of backyard barbecues is a reality once again, homeowners are venturing outdoors and taking stock of their home’s outdoor living areas. If you’re one of those people and the latest assessment of your backyard reveals a deck or patio that just doesn’t quite cut it, then it may be time to upgrade. Decks are quite practical for most homes, providing additional living space during warmer weather and the perfect location to incorporate a second kitchen or at least a grilling station. If you own an older home with an existing deck or patio, you may find it simply doesn’t accommodate what you want for your outdoor space. Thankfully, there’s a great deal you can do to spruce it up and get ready to enjoy the season.

Unless your deck is made of special synthetic material, it will require some degree of maintenance. Each year you should power-wash your deck to remove the residue of leaf stains, tree sap, bird droppings, and other debris. Clean your deck using a product specially designed for use on wood. When your deck is dry, determine if there are any areas that need repair or maintenance work. Splitting or rotting wood should be removed and replaced. If you’re uncomfortable with performing the work or stability is a concern, contact a professional contractor.

Once the structural components of the deck are in order, determine the condition of the deck’s finish and whether or not you should stain or seal the wood. A high-quality stain, applied and sealed properly can last up to five years without looking worn but excessive exposure to sun and other elements take their toll on the best of materials. Also be sure to check for splintered wood or rough spots that may need sanding.

Once you’ve cleaned your deck and performed any necessary maintenance or repair, take a look at the layout of your deck. With the patio furniture, grill, and other objects cleared away for the cleaning, you can get a better picture of the space the deck provides. Consider the different arrangements you could make with furniture, barbecue equipment, and gardening containers. It may be possible to redesign your entertaining area by rearranging existing items or simply purchasing new items that are better suited to your deck’s size and shape.

If you own a home with an older deck, it may simply not suit your needs no matter how you arrange things. It wasn’t until the last few years that outdoor kitchen and living areas became widely popular. As people have made a commitment to staying closer to home, the term “staycation” was coined as a description of summers spent outdoors in the backyard with modern amenities like outdoor kitchens, bars, barbecues and fire pits flanking swimming pools and hammocks. Tiered decks, with areas to accommodate different activities, have become popular design choices and the standard 10′ x 12′ deck has become too limiting for many homeowners.

If your home’s deck fails to meet your expectations, you may be surprised how affordable an addition can be. Building on to an existing deck is less costly than building from scratch and a simple second tier or even a sitting area added to the side may be all you need to create the perfect entertaining area. The ideal situation is having a separate area for food prep and another one for dining and relaxing.

When planning construction of a new deck or building an addition to an existing deck, keep in mind how you would like to assign the space. Maybe you have the ideal spot for your barbecue grill but need to build a separate deck for a coveted hot tub. Plan accordingly so that traffic is well controlled and access to water and electric is not restricted.

Decks can be extremely versatile, add value to your home by providing additional outdoor living space, and simply provide you and your family with a place to relax and enjoy the barbecue season. For some homeowners, it’s difficult to envision how existing space can be converted into other uses and that’s particularly true of outdoor areas. Even the smallest deck or patio can be converted into a sprawling deck that sustains plenty of company, the grill of your dreams, and even a chaise lounge or two. If you feel limited by design, consult a contractor and ask for additional ideas.

About the Author: Conklin Developments is a renovation company that specializes in complete calgary home renovations. From the simplest basement renovation and design to more complex projects such as a complete kitchen renovation, additions to your home, or that custom home theater you have always wanted. We can do it all for you, and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Conklin, John "Is Your Deck Ready For BBQ Season?." Is Your Deck Ready For BBQ Season?. 26 Jun. 2010. 24 Dec 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Conklin, J (2010, June 26). Is Your Deck Ready For BBQ Season?. Retrieved December 24, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Conklin, John "Is Your Deck Ready For BBQ Season?"

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