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Ranch Style House With a Front Deck

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A sign in front of a house

Last year we had our dream deck built on the front of our house. No, my DIY hubby Tim didn’t build it himself (although he did build the one in our backyard and restored it last year.)

We were able to find someone willing to build it for a daily charge and it was a great deal.  We haven’t regretted spending the money paying someone else even one little bit.

Tim did do most of the finish work including the sunburst deck railing and I did all the decorating (and y’all know that’s the hard part!)

An umbrella sitting on top of a wooden chair

We have absolutely loved this new addition to our ranch style house. We live in the hot south and it’s common to see a porch or a deck on the front of the house. 

If we had unlimited funds I would have preferred a porch, which means a roof and not getting wet. But that wasn’t part of the plan and even without it I couldn’t be more pleased with the way our project turned out.

(For a little perspective you have to see where we began a couple of years ago with the dead (but pretty) trees in the front of our home.)

Home Tour from Marty's Musings

Last year when I posted our deck on one of the groups I’m part 0f I had no idea I would become involved in a particularly animated discussion on the pros and cons of decks versus porches. Everyone had their own opinion and sometimes they were not always expressed politely.

A house with a lawn in front of a building

Hometalk is a wonderful community to find project inspiration for everything from building, DIY, crafts and more plus there’s a community of contractors and professionals to answer questions for you. (No, I’m not getting paid, just a community I enjoy being a part of).

Sometimes, though, the comments can get a bit mean spirited (here’s the thread if you want to read along, but you have to join first.) 

I always try to avoid conflict in terms of social media. My reputation is more important to me than getting my point across with the whole world watching.

Plus my mama always taught me if I didn’t have something nice to say I shouldn’t say anything at all!

A table topped with lots of furniture

So I took the high road in the comments and only responded to the kinder ones. The funny part was watching other folks come to my defense without me saying a word! 

I did think it would be fun to explain some of our thoughts about this project and show you how it looks a year later!

Money was definitely a deciding factor. Like most of you, we live on a limited budget. Our DIY projects are not done on a whim. Usually they involve months (and sometimes years) of conversation and research.

Deck and House

Neither one of us gets everything we want. We compromise and usually find the least expensive option that will help us obtain our goals.

No, we DIDN’T build a deck so I would have something to write about! Even though my husband laughingly says that it’s hardly true. But since we did build it you bet I’m going to decorate it, enjoy it and tell you all about it!

We spent years tossing the idea around the idea and dreaming. When that dream became closer to reality we had to make some decisions.

Deck and House

The first one involved removing the dead trees in the front yard. Wow, did this stir up a controversy!

While I love trees and would have gladly saved the thousands of dollars we spent on dead tree removal it was a necessity for the trees in close proximity to our house. We’ve removed about ten on our property through the years and every time we spent that money I grimaced but it’s better than buying a new roof or car or whatever they might  have landed on if they fell.

The second step was the jack hammer demolition of the front stoop and stairs so that the deck could go right over the stoop itself. Fun times. Not.

You can read all about our adventures in family bonding, with a comical look at this project with a “he said” and “she said” commentary. Plus you can see me rock a jack hammer with my freshly dyed blonde highlights (a girl has to do what a girl has to do!)

Jackhammer Demolition- Part Two of Our Dream Deck - Marty's Musings

Finally, last year I couldn’t wait to show my readers the finished project in all its glory with my yard sale finds, including my $15 changing table turned DIY Garden Cart and a few curbside treasures thrown in.

A vase of flowers on a brick building

This year I took the old door down. I really loved it last year but somehow the rustic look just turned dingy and bad first impression. I’m okay if everything doesn’t work. No one gets it right all the time.

After waiting the necessary time for the wood to cure, Tim then stained the deck and we love the way it makes the deck blend into the house. (You can read another lively discussion on our choice of color over on Hometalk!) Before we just had a stoop and I really had no place to decorate for each season. Not anymore!

How to Stain Your Wood Deck - Marty's Musings

Now we’re ready to move on to this year’s deck after living with it a year (and more time spent yard sale shopping since then!)

A large lawn in front of a house

What do you think?

Last year Tim planted roses for non gardeners like me. Knockout roses are just amazing! Tim is the gardener in the family and I’m the waterer and pruner of dead buds!

A garden in front of a house

The one thing I wanted most this year was the ferns. Love them!

A pink flower is in a garden

Our home has so much more curb appeal now. I love the way the stairs lead straight to the front door and the flowers just make me smile!

A close up of a flower garden in front of a house

We used a combination of petunias, impatiens, lantana, marigold and spiky plant (my husband says that’s the official name but I’m not so sure!)

Somehow I think he got the best job with just planting and I got the worst with watering pretty much every day and picking off the dead blooms. We might have to switch next year!

A vase of flowers sitting on a pink flower pot

My front door welcomes all with its cheery Japanese Kimono color and makes me happy as well!

A pink flower is standing in front of a building

Our answer to the uproar of whether it was right to build a deck on the front of a house? We’re enjoying every second of the view!

A chair in a garden

THIS IS NOT OUR DREAM HOME. Are you living in yours? Most of us are not.

If I had wads of cash and unlimited time it would be different. Accepting reality and living contented is my goal and it’s why I share our journey, not only through our DIY projects, but through our family story.  

A vase of flowers sitting on top of a wooden fence

At the end of the day when we’re relaxing on our deck with our feet up, holding hands and talking through the details of the day, we love every inch of our deck.

It’s more than just a DIY project. It’s proof of hard work, patience, commitment, team work and a whole lot of love.

Taking Care of Mama and Lipton Iced Tea K-cups - Marty's Musings

Won’t you join us along the way? I’d love to know whether you’d rather have a porch or if a deck would suit you just fine!

See more of this year’s budget decorating and all the latest yard sale and trash to treasure finds (or last year’s here).

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26 Comments

  1. I find it very interesting how different parts of the country have different styles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a front deck up here in the Northwest. A few houses have front porches, but not a lot. We mainly have front steps and stoops . . . with our decks and patios in the backyard.

    It also looks like you live on a quiet, tree-lined, houses-spaced-apart street, which would make a front deck more appealing than on a small lot in the city, I think.

  2. I live in the Pacific Northwest and a lovely deck is being built on the front of our house as we speak! My kitchen is in the front of my house, so having a deck on the back is just not practical. I can’t imagine carrying food and drink through the bedroom to get to the deck! I love the way your spindles are arranged…how unique is that!! Enjoy your deck as will we.

  3. I left a comment on your newest Hometalk post. A nice one (I think). I do leave comments, but I rarely read others… it just annoys or makes me sad for humanity (well, I might be exaggerating a little). I admire the guts it takes to post there. Why on earth do people think their opinion of what’s a better choice than yours, and how much better they would have done it, is one that needs to be aired? My husband shakes his head in disbelief when I tell him that yes, on a home decorating site there are still mean and snarky trolls. He thinks that only happens on political sites!
    Oh well. You have what looks to be a comfortable and pleasant deck. Enjoy!

  4. I remember your deck on “Hometalk” and some of the comments. I just don’t understand why people have to make negative comments. If something is not your taste, just move along. I think it just makes them feel superior.
    Anyway, I love your deck. It looks very nice and if you like it that’s all that matters. I just repainted my tub, but I’m hesitant about putting it on Hometalk.
    I’ll tell you I would take either a porch or a deck. All I have is a walkway from my side man door on the garage across to my front door. It’s better than what we originally had, but I would love a porch or deck that is covered.
    Enjoy your deck and let the others be envious.

  5. Love, love the deck. We have a boring ranch front as well and I want to add on a deck but I’m going to wait and do my screen porch and patio out back first.

  6. So very pretty. About 5 years we had a back yard deck built from Trex decking. Very Expensive. But so easy to maintain. Just mop and all done.

    1. Hi, Pamela. We would have loved a deck with Trex but you’re right, it is so expensive. Enjoy yours and well just be envious! Have a great day!

  7. Marty,
    I have a 1970’s Ranch Style Home here on the Prairie of Kansas!!!
    I adore what you did to your Ranch Style Home, dear one!!!
    In my book, I’d say you’ve done an amazing job!!!
    LOVE all the out~of~doors decor!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

    1. Awww. Thanks Christine! We have enjoyed it so much, but especially when the weather turns cooler. Summer is pretty rough during the day. Looking forward to working with you and Behr again this year!

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  9. I worked in every field of contstruction and lived in different houses built in different decades as well as different centuries. If one is not held to by laws or home/housing committees you do what you want with the budget one has. Your deck/decorating/stain/gardening is absolutely gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! 🙂 My first thought was why would anyone take down trees, but before reading your answer to that I saw it in the pictures. As I do save trees when possible, sometimes they have to go. I guess my jobs with customers from different ethnicities and different parts of the world, I never questioned deck or porch, or whatever myself or a customer wanted. I watched a show recently where a well travelled lady had a poolhouse, 8000 plus square feet build with an indoor/outdoor pool. From her different travels and new ideas she has 7 pools. The first cost was 3 million and now it is around 8 million. As I was growing up a house on another main street the home owners put a swimming pool in the front yard because the set back left no room for one. I heard over the years people being pretty mean in their comments. All I saw was a family having a great time together around the pool. It was filled in immediately with a new home owner, but again that goes to person choice. Maybe that is why I have never questioned why people do what they

  10. Keep up the excellent work. 🙂 We build a deck off the mud room where you step down on a platform then step up to a round deck buildt around a big tree so when it got dark the running lights made it look exactly like the Starship Enterprise! 🙂 So always do what you like and let others sort themselves out. 🙂

  11. Instead of a covered porch, we built a 3 season sunroom. I would have preferred a covered porch that wrapped around the house, but as you say that involves a roof and lots more money. We built a deck in stages that started with 20 feet on the west side, then wrapped around a large white oak at the sw corner and met up with the deck on the south side. Last, I added to the south deck and now we have a deck that wraps around the entire west side (32′) and the length of the south side (53′). Lots of room to move my houseplants out in the spring and for the cats to lounge around. Lots of privacy since we live in the woods on a bluff overlooking the Cuivre River.
    You could always add a roll out awning if it gets too hot in the summer and it would also keep you out of the rain. They also have screened versions that would keep bugs out.

    1. Hi, Dorlis. Your deck sounds amazing! Thanks for the suggestions. We just don’t like the look of the awning and choose to sit out late in the day or early in the morning on the weekends. It’s also just a beautiful way to welcome us when we come home because we don’t have a garage! I hope you’ll enjoy visiting my blog!

  12. Your deck is very inspiring, we can’t have one but I love seeing creativity. I was amazed at people getting upset over removing dead trees. I imagine they have no idea of the damage they could cause. As far as people fighting over what you should do to your house, well, they aren’t you. Our pastor just did a sermon on unity versus uniformity. In unity, we agree to interact while keeping our own identity. Uniformity brings about the loss of individuality, it also suffocates. I think of cookie cutter homes with HOA’s dictating everything. Home improvement is about 1) finances, 2) abilities (to DIY or higher someone, 3) desire, all are subjective. Having lived in Virginia for 20 years I’m surprised you didn’t stir up trouble with your picture, sugar cubes for iced tea! If it isn’t sweetened while hot it’s not southern iced tea. LOL

    1. Hi, Beth. Thanks for the compliments. I totally agree that everyone is different and should do what works for their family. We really just love having a way to greet guests to our home that is warm and inviting, even if it’s HOT in the summer! And although I’m a true southern belle, I don’t sweeten my tea with sugar. lol

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