Keeping Critters Off Your Deck


Your deck is meant to be a place of enjoyment. It should be a relaxing respite for you and your family to take in the beauty of the outdoors. What it is not meant to be is a haven for raccoons, possums, mice or snakes. These animals and others like to take up residence in dry, dark areas; and the space beneath decks are prime real estate in their opinion.

To keep animals from setting up housekeeping beneath your deck, the best precaution to take is to create a barrier. The most common type of barrier is a trench and fence combination. You can implement this method by digging a trench that is twelve inches deep and twelve inches wide. Once you’ve dug the trench, erect either mesh or wire fencing over it and attach it securely to your deck posts. Fill the trench back in with soil.

For those who don’t feel the trench approach is aesthetically appealing, there are still things you can do to keep unwanted critters from your deck. You could also remove any weeds or other vegetation from beneath your deck and put down landscaping mesh material to keep out regrowth. Animals won’t be as interested in your deck if their isn’t a dense patch of growth beneath it in which they can burrow and hide.

If you suspect that an animal is already occupying the space, you can set out ammonia-soaked cloths or mothballs to hurry their departure. The unpleasant scent will cause them to scurry. If you aren’t sure if animals are beneath your deck or not, you can sprinkle flour around any openings and check periodically for footprints over the course of a couple of days. You definitely want to make sure nothing is living under the deck before you build your barricade.

With these preventive methods, you can ensure that your deck is only enjoyed by you and your family. It doesn’t take much to keep your deck free of unwanted visitors that could cause damage to your property.

Ideas for Decorating Outdoor Living Spaces


Most people know how they want to decorate their living room or bedroom, but coming up with decorating ideas for decks</>, porches or patios can leave them at a loss. Outdoor living spaces don’t have to be difficult to decorate and can be transformed into the perfect place for parties, relaxing or hanging out with friends and family.

When decorating outdoor living spaces, think about how you will be spending the majority of your time outside. Are you one to sit on the back deck with a cup of coffee and a good book in the mornings? Do you plan on having several backyard barbecues or pool parties? All of the above?

If you don’t entertain much, you may prefer your outdoor space to feel like a relaxing retreat from the rest of the world. Comfy lounge chairs, gauzy curtains blowing in the breeze and potted ferns, orchids and roses can help create the feel of a spa resort in your own backyard. If you are one to entertain, an outdoor sectional, lights strung in the trees, and cozy chair groupings situated throughout your yard would be the perfect backdrop for the soiree of the summer.

It is also important to put your own personal spin on your space. Have custom pillows made in outdoor fabrics for your wicker furniture. Choose an outdoor rug in a pattern you like. Use your favorite colors. Complete an outdoor space as you would an indoor room– rugs, pillows, accessories, lighting and functional layout are all important. Just keep in mind to use weather resistant decor items. You want your outdoor space to be a continuation of your home.

If a major decorating project seems like too much to take on, paying a professional is always an option. Or you can try doing a little at a time. For example, an Adirondack chair with a cute pillow is a simple addition that looks good in just about anyone’s back yard. Some homeowners find that once they get started, the decorating ideas just keep coming.