Adding Outdoor Space

It has always been a dream of mine to live in a home with a screened in porch.  *sigh*  I am cursed with the tastiest blood known to mosquitoes, and given that Minnesota is home to more mosquitoes per square inch than anywhere else on the planet (I dare you to prove me wrong), a screened in porch has always seemed to be the one way for me to enjoy the outdoors in the evening.  But adding a screened in porch is expensive!

This photo was taken before we added anything and while standing on the lower deck.

Our current home has a two level deck, and ever since we moved in, my husband and I have talked about making that upper deck a screened in porch.  It is a good size; perfect for a love seat, fireplace, maybe a side chair and TV.  Exactly the little spot I was looking for to find peace and quiet after a long day.

But the more I looked and planned and plotted, the more difficult this project seemed.  Originally, I thought we could just take off the railings and put up some walls and a roof — easy DIY (easy says the girl who won’t be 90% of the heavy lifting).  Upon further reflection, however, I noticed the roof that hangs over the deck.  And, after consulting a contractor who was out for other jobs, we realized that we would likely have to hire this job out since it would require changing the roofline of the house.

Insert all of the sad faces here.

As spring turned into summer this year, I turned my eyes, and itching ankles, towards the lower deck.

The view of the lower deck from the upper deck. The lower is bigger than the upper, however it also has left and right side access points to the backyard.

We had a couch and two chairs down there for lounging, along with our grill.  However, we never used this space for lounging!  There is a walnut tree in the corner, and the squirrels love to eat them and leave the debris all over.  Plus, the trees drop a lot of junk at the slightest breeze.  We had a deck box to keep the cushions in when not in use, but with 3 kids in this house, lets just say the cushions didn’t spend a lot of time in their storage container.

And, don’t forget, the bugs.

Mr. Peach and I started discussing what we could do, since we didn’t think a full on screened in porch would work, mostly because we didn’t know if the deck had the support to hold one, plus we didn’t have it in the budget this year.  We started looking at pergolas, specifically ones that we could add mosquito netting to.

It sounded perfect!  Spend maybe 1k and get something functional and pretty!  But the more we looked into it, the less we liked the idea.  Those mosquito nets can be helpful, but they weren’t exactly going to keep all the bugs out.  And having something open on the sides would still leave the furniture open to weather and those stinking squirrels.

Then, as we were going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole, we found the perfect thing:

Gazebo Of Our Dreams

It was a permament structure, that was made to go on a deck (or concrete slab), created in Canada, rated for our kind of weather… was a miracle!!

Taking the railings off

We started by taking the railings off the deck, power washing it and staining it (it was overdue for another coat….another reason to do this project this year!).

We ordered the gazebo, and it took about 3 weeks for it to get to us.  Then, of course, a couple weeks until we had a free weekend to put it up.

Once we had the time, assembly was pretty quick!  The beginning stages did take all 5 of us, just so there was no danger of stuff falling over.  But really, 50% of it Mr. Peach did all on his own (there were a lot of screws) and another 30% required one or two people.

All told, this baby was built in about 15 hours!  It is not sealed up tight; we have had one major storm since it was built and a little water dripped in the sides (mostly along a window someone didn’t close properly).  And while the odd mosquito can get in since everything isn’t sealed, we have found that a citronella candle or two will keep even the hungriest away.

And my gosh, are we loving it!  The kids especially.  My oldest likes to sit out there and do his homework, my daughter had a sleepover and they hung out there to watch a movie, my husband and I have watched some football in there as well.  It has been a fantastic addition to our yard!


Assembly was a family affair

The finished product!




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