In the past year of pandemic, you’ve probably had your fill of being confined to the four walls of your home. Getting out in the garden, going for a walk, and soaking up sunshine has helped to get you through the harder days. That’s why outdoor home improvements have become so popular.
As you consider a deck — and all the details that make it last, such as flashing tape — take time to consider how you will use it and the many options it affords. We’ve made a list here of 10 reasons you might enjoy adding a deck to the garden.
- More space to play. For little ones, a deck can provide a wonderful bonus play space. Fill the deck box with lawn toys, bubbles, art supplies and sidewalk chalk and your children will enjoy a place where it’s OK to be a bit messy. Break out the Play-doh and slime and don’t worry so much about what falls to the ground. Consider a kid-sized picnic table, so they have their own spot on the deck. A couple of safety tips: If you have an elevated deck, be sure to install a gate at the top of the stairs. Additionally, consider composite decking boards to avoid splinters in little feet.
- A place to learn and grow. Find educational projects to enjoy outside with your children. Create a nature journal with leaves and flowers you find in your yard. Try a science experiment or paint a canvas (with washable paint) — and hose off the deck boards when you’re done.
- A way to entertain for many or for one. A deck gives you extra room and more options to entertain with family and friends. With an outdoor television, you aren’t limited to watching football games on your sofa. Get out under the stars and watch a match or movie. In fact, this is a fun way to involve the little ones, too. Make a big bowl of popcorn and create cars from old cardboard boxes or totes. Let the children decorate the cars and pretend that you’re at a drive-in movie.
- Sunshine on deck. The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone’s mental health. One way to feel better: spending time outside. A study in the Journal of Leisure Research stated that “spending time outdoors, and especially participating in outdoor activities, can lead to a variety of positive mental health outcomes.” Sunshine helps your body to metabolise Vitamin D, which has many health benefits. Get your recommended 15 minutes a day of sunshine on the deck
- Space to relax and rest. A deck can provide an oasis from the weight of all you have on your plate. Use this space to take a deep breath, rest in a hammock, listen to your favourite playlist, reflect on your spiritual life, or read a good book. A deck offers a perfect getaway just steps from your back door.
- Enjoy more time in the garden. Whether your deck is in the middle of your garden, or you bring blooms on deck with containers, you’ll enjoy getting out each morning to tend your spot and taste the delicious rewards of growing your own veggies. Try some tips from the Royal Horticultural Society. Choose a container that has good drainage and is frost-proof. Be sure to put any containers on risers so moisture from the plants doesn’t stain or damage your deck boards.
- Get creative. Don’t limit the deck to your children’s creativity. Grab a sketchbook or easel and put your school-day art skills to good use. Use a drop cloth to protect your deck boards from stains. Try just 15 minutes a day.
- Journal on deck. Writing doesn’t have to be difficult. As a mum, just start keeping a list of the cute things your little ones say. Write down memories you don’t want to forget. Keep a gratitude journal to stay mindful of the best parts of life — especially on those days where the temper tantrums and nappies threaten to overtake you!
- Move it, move it! Exercising out on your deck can make squats and lunges a bit more enjoyable. Try an online workout, yoga or develop your own routine. You can create a habit in as little as 10 minutes a day. With about half of Brits admitting that they’ve gained a stone or more during the lockdown, we all could use a little extra healthy movement in our days.
- Try a new recipe. Summer is coming, which means it’s time for a delicious barbecue! Whether you enjoy kebabs, veggies, fruit or sausages hot off the grill, find a new recipe and also enjoy eating it outdoors. Dining al fresco is fun for the whole family.
Today’s decking trends offer many ways to make the most of your bonus space outdoors. Get creative and find ways to make your new deck part of your lifestyle. Enjoy!