Hit the Deck: Deck Upgrades for Outdoor Living

Jul 11, 2022

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Over the past few years, outdoor living has become a huge priority for both homebuyers and homeowners alike. Our home’s outdoor areas are now viewed as an extension of the home. They are a place where we can entertain, lounge, and simply live life.  

With summer in full swing, it’s time to spend more time outside with family, friends, or even by yourself. However, there are a few deck upgrades that can make your space an even more enjoyable place to hang out. Some of these upgrades may even help you increase your home’s overall value if you decide to sell your home soon or down the road.

It’s time to “hit the deck”! Check out these deck upgrades for outdoor living.

Put Up a Pergola

Your deck should be a place for outdoor relaxation and enjoyment. But, it can be hard to relax and enjoy the outdoors if the sun is in your eyes. Pergolas are a large outdoor structure that can turn an exposed deck into a shaded outdoor room. The angled slats of the pergola help shield the sun during daylight hours while still maintaining an airy, open outdoor oasis.

A pergola on your deck helps to not only extend your living space outdoors, but also extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors. Pergolas come in a variety of designs and can either be custom built or built from a kit. The structure of pergolas also provides support for everything such as outdoor chandeliers and fans, string lights, fabric curtains, and small speakers. The design and entertainment options are endless.

Build Planter Boxes

Another deck upgrade that adds both beauty and utility are planter boxes. Planter boxes can either be placed directly on your deck floor or atop your deck railing. Having planter boxes on or attached to your deck allows you to garden right outside your backdoor. Plant some herbs and vegetables that are as tasty as they are beautiful, or plant colorful blooms to create a dramatic outdoor display.

There are several great DIY planter box designs online to help you. These designs come in a variety of shapes and sizes for all deck types. Some built-in versions are made with the same material as the deck for a seamless look. These boxes can be positioned to separate seating areas from cooking areas. Nomatter what design you choose, make sure you provide good drainage for the planter to prevent water damage over the time.

Restain the Deck

Sometimes something as simple as restaining your deck can make a world of difference. Natural elements, as well as kids and pets, can take a toll on backyard decks. Assess your deck and make any necessary repairs first. Before you begin staining, you will also want to clean the surface of your deck using a stiff-bristle brush or a pressure washer.

Wooden decks require regular upkeep in order to continue looking their best and to remain in the best shape possible. The most important form of upkeep for your deck is staining. Along with improving your decks appearance, staining also helps seal out rot causing moisture and unwanted pests. Regularly staining your deck greatly extends the lifespan of your deck which will allow for more years of backyard enjoyment.

Add an Outdoor Bar or Kitchen

Take your barista and/or chef skills outdoors. Pallet bars are an inexpensive DIY option that can be easily constructed. A sturdy wood cart or shelving unit can also do the job. Make sure there is enough space up top for serving refreshments, as well as storage for glassware and cocktail-making ingredients.

If you want to significantly increase your home’s value, complete your outdoor bar with a full kitchen. Outdoor kitchens can easily generate 55% to a 200% ROI depending on your home’s location and local buyer trends for outdoor spaces. One great thing about having an outdoor bar or  kitchen on your deck is that you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you and your budget allows. Do your research to determine what bar or kitchen features you would like for your deck space and budget accordingly.

Lay Down a Rug

Outdoor rugs are a fantastic (and super easy) way to bring the interior coziness of your home outside. Not only are they stylish, but they are also practical as they prevent outside dirt and debris from being tracked inside the home. If you have a larger sized deck, outdoor rugs can be used to define different areas such as a lounge area from a dining area.

Make sure to find a rug that is made specifically for outdoor use and measure your deck to ensure the rug fits in the space. Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs require minimal upkeep which means less time cleaning and more time enjoying your comfy outdoor space.

Install Outdoor Lighting

Don’t let the dark dampen your outdoor enjoyment. Extend the time you spend on your deck by installing outdoor lighting. Assess your deck and backyard’s needs to determine what kind of lighting would be best. If your deck has overhead protection, add string lights or recessed deck lighting to brighten up the darker space.

To help improve your deck’s overall nighttime visibility and mobility, opt for in-floor lighting, rail lights, or stair lights. If you have a smaller sized deck, a large outdoor lantern or two may be all you need to brighten up your outdoor living space.


For bigger deck upgrades, consult with a local agent to determine whether it is worth the investment. Of course, there is no price for homeowner happiness. If the deck upgrades enhance your outdoor living space and are something your family will enjoy, go for it!

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