Not only is my friend Dorian a capable drink-gift-tag designer, she is also an accomplished deck designer! No, she’s not a contractor, but I love the deck that she and her boyfriend Aaron redesigned (the beams and supports were in place already) on a budget. The couple’s Seattle-area home has a walkout basement, so the deck from their dining room is on the second floor. Wanting to create a useable, rain-sheltered area under the deck while still allowing light to reach the yard below, they came up with an ingenious solution: they alternated wood flooring with three-quarter-inch plexiglass panels (purchased directly from a local polymer supplier) that they scuffed up to prevent slips). As an added bonus, they look cool at night with light from below shining through, too.
Dorian tells us they initially planned to install a cable railing, but it cost too much for their budget. So instead they combined wood from Lowe’s with wire fencing panels from a local farm and feed store. Total cost for the deck? Around $3,000.
If you’re interested in doing something like this yourself, here’s one caution from Dorian: “We are still having issues with sealing the seams so water doesn’t leak through, but we are working on it.” We’ll keep you posted on their solutions (feel free to suggest your own in comments). But she is looking on the bright side. “I am so psyched to have a working deck in summer,” she says. –Mary T.