The weather is getting cooler, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your outdoor living spaces. In fact, with a little preparation, you can extend the use of your deck well into the fall and winter, depending on the climate in your region. Crisp fall days and earlier nightfall is the cue for many people to spend more time at home. Having a functional outdoor room to enjoy can make your autumn evenings at home more pleasant.
Start your fall deck makeover with a good cleaning, but skip the power washer. Most decks don’t need such extreme measures, and if not used correctly, a power washer can cause damage to both wood and composite materials. Remove everything from the deck and sweep all the surfaces with a large, soft-bristled shop broom. Don’t forget about adjacent walls and overhangs; make sure to remove the cobwebs and dust. Use your hose and a deck cleaner that’s recommended for your building materials. Scrub stubborn stains with a brush and treat dark spots with a brightener such as Wolman’s Deckbrite.
Clean your essential deck furnishings and return them to the area. It’s time to store small accessories and other items that can be damaged by inclement weather. Fall is also the perfect time to put spent plants in the compost and sanitize growing pots for next year’s use.
Items that will keep you warm are necessary for fully enjoying your deck in the fall. Heat lamps are convenient and can be found in a variety of sizes to fit your needs. A standing fire pit creates an intimate gathering space for friends and doubles as a marshmallow-roasting station for family night. Unlike a traditional fire pit you might dig in the yard, a self-contained pit is easily removed from the deck when you no longer want it and you can take it to the beach or a friend’s house.
A hot tub is the ultimate addition to your deck. Hot tubs can be used year round to soak away your aches and pains and relieve stress, you simply adjust the water temperature to your preference as the seasons change. Whether your home is the favored spot for friends to gather or you prefer spending time with just your family a hot tub is the perfect place to spend a cool fall evening.
Decorating your outdoor space is much like decorating a room inside your home; the first thing to consider is function. The extras you enjoy on your deck during the spring and summer might not be practical in the fall or winter, but you still want a splash of color to liven up the space. Large pots of fall flowers such as chrysanthemums can go a long way to add a seasonal flair without demanding a lot of maintenance. Lighting is another way to add color and it’s practical. With earlier fall sunsets you’ll be spending more time outside in the dark. Strings of colorful lights can add ambience and safety.
There is so much natural beauty to appreciate during the fall, why not get out on your deck and enjoy it? It may be too cold for grilling and sharing dinners outside, but a warm cup of cocoa by the fire or a dip in the hot tub will keep you cozy. Preparing your deck for the fall can change the way you utilize the space and increase your love of the season.