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Prepping and Planning for an Outdoor Deck Renovation with Trex

Tips to prep for a large-scale outdoor renovation; considerations for demolition of a two-storey deck structure. 

This post is part of a branded content series with Home Hardware and Trex Decking.


Spring is here and we find ourselves bursting with excitement that it’s demolition day on the back deck!

After we completed our basement renovation (where we converted our back porch into my office), and then our major kitchen renovation – we knew the back deck was next. 

In fact, it had to happen because it wasn’t just ugly, but completely unsafe. 

When the Home Hardware Home Installs team was at our house for the kitchen reno, the lead contractor remarked that the deck was in such bad shape that we shouldn’t even stand on it. 

Yikes! 

So since then, I’ve had the doors locked and we haven’t used the outdoor space. 

And of course, I immediately started coming up with plans for what we want our new, safe, functional and beautiful deck to look like!

old rotting deck

Big vision deck plans

The footprint of the old deck isn’t going to change very much. We are extending the bottom platform by a couple of feet, but all in all, it will have the same L-shape on the bottom. 

The top balcony will also be extended by a couple of feet to better align with the side of the house. 

Stairs to the yard

The one thing (besides the safety concerns) that has always bugged me about the deck is that the upper balcony had no stairs.

It was like being in a weird wood box, baking in the sun. 


And functionally, it was hard to plan or coordinate BBQs because if we had the grill on the top deck, we’d have to then take the food on a platter all the way through the entire house, including my office, to get to the patio dining set below. 

Not to mention, it’s been a total pain letting Banjo out in the yard because the only real backyard access has been through my office door. 

So non-negotiable for the new deck is a solid set of stairs from the upper level to the back yard. 

Railings for the new deck

The next thing that’s always bugged me were the railings. 

We live about 100ft from the ocean, but you wouldn’t know it sitting on our deck!

Deck desire number two? New railings with glass panels so we can enjoy more of the sea views. 

Plus the railings will create a clean look that will be easy to maintain.

Durability and sustainability

Other things that top my list are durability and sustainability. 

As I just mentioned, we live very close to the open salt water, which means traditional wooden decks and metal deteriorate at a more rapid pace than normal. 

We want our deck to last as long as possible. 


That’s why we decided Trex decking is the solution for us. 

The products are stunning, modern and made from a recycled material that will withstand the East Coast weather conditions. 

Bonus points because Trex absolutely checks all the sustainable and eco-responsible boxes for me too. 

I’ll share more specifics about Trex in one of my later posts when I can show you the options we chose.

Design and lifestyle elements

It’s funny because I’ve been so caught up in thinking about the structural design and the larger components of this project that I haven’t thought too hard about the living elements!

But in general, we want the bottom to be a hang out space with our loungers and a coffee table (and a sightline to the new sandbox!)

There’s going to be a fun little ‘nook’ area beneath the balcony level and just off my office and I kind of want to see if I can turn that into Erin space – a blissful hideout where I can sit in the early mornings with my coffee and a journal (and maybe Banjo) and just breathe into the day. (Sssssh! Don’t tell the kids! haha)

I imagine the top level will be all about food! Space for a harvest style table for family dinners, and our charcoal grill. And I know Dan is going to want a few big chunky pots of herbs and other spice plants.

I honestly think this new deck is going to feel like gaining two new rooms in the house… Can’t wait to bring you along and share all the fun with you!

Next post is going to be all about how demo went and how we prepared for what I’ve always called ‘the messy middle’ of renovations.

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