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From Bland to Grand: A Deck Transformation

A replacement deck offers many advantages over its predecessor, including looks, function and ease of maintenance. Most of all, it's just plain welcoming!

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Luke Miller

Welcome Home

A handsome new deck offers a welcoming spot to relax. Built-in benches provide additional seating for a large gathering—or can serve as side tables for drinks and food. The durable, low-maintenance deck features Trex Transcend in Spiced Rum, which not only looks great, it's guaranteed not to rot, warp, crack or splinter.

Here's how to build a no-rot, maintenance-free deck.

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Luke Miller

The Transformation

The old deck was small, dated looking and spoiled the view from the house. (See what other problems we found with the previous deck.) The replacement offers more space, better access to the backyard and doesn't interfere with the view.

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Luke Miller

Not By Accident

The deck isn't just attractive, it's also well-conceived. That didn't happen by accident. We experimented with different configurations in Photoshop. Here are a couple of examples. In the first photo, we located the steps to the left, but decided it wouldn't leave room for a table and chairs. In the second photo, centered steps would allow us to furnish two distinct zones. We also did Photoshop comparisons of a paver path vs. patio. Learn how to landscape around your deck.

Get some inspiration with our DIY dream deck plans.

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Luke Miller

Color Choice

We decided early on that we wanted composite decking, but the question was, which one? Trex makes a whole range of colors and you can request color samples or look at in-store samples at Lowe's or Home Depot. What helped us narrow down our choices was experimenting with colors in Photoshop. Right away we knew a darker color would work better with the brown roof and beige siding. At that point, we could look more closely at samples.

Here are 19 of the most popular home exterior colors.

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Luke Miller

Just Around the Corner

Those high-backed benches on the old deck offered little in the way of ambiance or comfort. They also left precious little room for furniture. The lattice trim was cheap looking and continually being challenged by our dog as she chased chipmunks. We decided to forego lattice and have Trex fascia boards installed along the sides of the deck. No more chipmunk chasing! And it looks more substantial and finished, too.

If you're repairing a deck rather than replacing one, these tips will help.

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Luke Miller

A Step Up in Quality

The old deck originally had no access to the backyard. Someone eventually removed a section of seating and built an oddly shaped side platform that required a 90-degree turn when entering or leaving the deck. In contrast, the new deck provided direct access to the backyard. Just getting rid of the unsightly appendage and slab of concrete helped immensely—plus we gained some gardening space. Check out our top tips for selecting Trex decking colors.

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Luke Miller

A Balanced View

You can see in the before photo here that the deck was slanted. It detracted from the appearance, seemed cheap and ill-conceived and served no purpose whatsoever. It's one of the reasons we decided to install a completely new frame rather than saving the old one. See how the new deck was constructed. We cut the corners of the deck (also known as coffin corners) to make room for plants and the pathway.

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Luke Miller

Rooms to Roam

A deck is an extension of the house—an outdoor living room. Our deck features two zones—one for dining and entertaining, one for relaxing and reading. We used Trex Outdoor Furniture—a 5-piece Monterey dining set and Cape Cod Adirondack gliders and side table—in Hunter Green. The color adds just the right amount of contrast to the brown and beige without being in your face.

Get more ideas for backyard entertaining and relaxation spaces here.

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Luke Miller

Table With a View

One of the nice things about built-in benches is that they preserve the view of the yard and beyond. And one of the nice things about Trex Outdoor Furniture is that it's so durable. Just like the deck, it won't rot or need staining. (We don't have a lot of garage space, so it's great to have the option of leaving the furniture outside year round.) We also like that Trex Outdoor Furniture is made in America.

Get more ideas you can borrow from this deck.

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Luke Miller

Give Peace a Chance

You can do anything you want with a deck—big screen TV, hot tub—but we like the simple life. A card game at the table with friends or a cold beer in the slider chairs after a long day at work. Seat cushions add comfort, potted plants add ambiance. There's really no other place we'd rather be when we're at home.