As the summer winds to a close, most people migrate indoors and say goodbye to their back deck. They think of the holidays approaching and feel ready to turn up the heater and bring out the blankets. The truth is, your deck is still an incredibly functional place to spend time through the next few months. With a little effort now, you can find yourself enjoying your deck well into the fall, and it will be ready to jump back into consistent rotation as a gathering place next summer as well.
Fire pit: There’s something about fire that draws people together, and the fall is a great time to have friends gather around one with blankets and warm cider. A fire is a great way to make your deck a cozier place when the chill sets in. Add a fire pit to your deck, then stock up on s’mores supplies. You’ll need them as you host outdoor gatherings for the rest of the year.
Hot Tub: Jazz up your deck by adding a built-in hot tub, which is always a welcome place to relax and enjoy an cool evening. Hot tubs are perfect for stargazing and spending time with your special someone, or for keeping your party going when you have people over. Even in cold climates, you can hop into the hot tub during the winter, making your deck more of a year-round destination. Don’t put away your swimsuit just yet, but invest in a hot tub to make your deck the place to be.
Plants: Particularly if you’ve built planters into the perimeter of your deck, they can be a great way to liven up your backyard and give it a more polished look. Grow perennial flowers to make the maintenance easier and bring life to your deck year after year. You can also consider growing herbs on your deck, which bring a great fragrance and ensure they’re close at hand for times when you want to add a little something extra to the food you’re preparing. At the end of each summer, pull any annuals you planted and put in some plants that do well during the cooler winter months to keep your deck looking great.
Cleaning: Especially after a long, busy summer, your deck may need a little attention to get rid of months of storm-tossed dirt and grime. Power washing is the perfect way to remove residue and bring out the beautiful color of your wood. If it needs it, it could be time to stain your deck after cleaning it to give it a more polished look and prepare it for next year. In addition, give your deck furniture a good cleaning each year by power washing the frames and washing your cushions to return them to their bright, crisp colors.
Having a deck extends your home beyond your back door, and the work you put into sprucing up your deck during this season makes it a more beautiful and functional space. Cold weather doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Instead, it means you get to find creative ways to continue putting your outdoor space to use. Be intentional about how you take care of your deck, and it will continue to be a gathering place for your family and friends throughout the fall.