Grayling ConstructionMay 27, 2011
Deck over garage dilemma:
Wanting to give this house a face lift with a new color scheme, new garage doors, and a new garage-top deck. However, since the garage comes so far out from the house, the current deck just seems to be an eye sore. Any ideas for an attractive and useable space on top? I'd like to tie in better front entry steps, too.
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Becky Harris
I think like your deck looks like it has fabulous potential; what colors are you playing with? I think right now the stairs and deck railings' bold color contrast are what are making them stand out so much. If you choose a color that is closer to the color of the doors and the siding for the trim, they will stand out much much less, which is just a bucket or two of paint budget.

If you're looking at a bigger budget, there are a lot of gorgeous garage door options out there these days, including ones that are mostly glass (I'd go for a translucent glass so that you don't feel like the interior of the garage always has to be clean). This will draw the eye to the doors and make it fit in with the windows on your house's facade. Another less budget friendly purchase would be some custom designed railings, perhaps in a new material like steel. Clear railings would certainly help your deck space blend in better, but your wallet would take a big hit.

Back to lower budget moves, I would consider lining the deck railings with long rectangular planters and filling them with something vertical, like ornamental grasses. This would give the appearance of a planted edge from below.

You have a really cool house; I can't wait to see what you do!
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:13AM
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Becky Harris
Check out these railings (though someone recently informed me that horizontal railings are not child proof because kids like to climb them)

Lake Washington Residence · More Info
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Becky Harris
OH one, more thought; you could pull the railings inside of the top of the garage a bit and put the planters on the outside of the railings.
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:21AM
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Grayling Construction
Becky- You have some wonderful ideas. So far I'm thinking of a carriage-style garage door, something with a little character to dress up the front. Im thinking of changing the colors completely and looking at Ben Moore's Annapolis Gray and Anchor Gray. Love the planter idea you had! I'm also considering the idea of getting rid of the look of the the current rail and meshing your cable-rail idea and a laser-cut panel design. Still working out a lot of details. Oh yeah, and did I mention an addition?
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 12:56PM
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Becky Harris
Wow that's cool, how did you do that?
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 1:21PM
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Grayling Construction
Well thanks, we use a variety of software at our firm but this is a combo between sketchup and chief architect. It seems to be an ever-evolving project so this helps to be able to make changes quickly.
    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 3:31PM
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Becky Harris
Hi Channellem, I used your dilemma as a jumping off point, it's a bit more contemporary:

Ideabook: Ideabook 911: My House Needs a Facelift! · See Ideabook
    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 5:11PM
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I recognized this as an Alaskan house instantly, and it was probably built in the early 1980's. The cedar siding may be coated with Behr Liquid Rawhide, which was the status quo back then, so you might talk to a paint expert about how to paint over it (or remove it) if that is your intention. If it's possible, painting the siding will make the greatest difference.

Becky's sketch was pretty good, IMO. If replacing the windows isn't an option, replacing the brick moulding with something simpler and wider might help a little, might bring them together a bit.

On the railing that leads to your door, you might consider enclosing the edges (pony-wall style) instead of just using railing, which might make the steps look less detached from the house and more like an integral part of a planned entry area.

It doesn't appear that you can enter the upper deck directly from the house, which makes it less of an asset. If it were possible, I'd consider removing the garage entirely and rebuilding it to the left side or as a separate structure. To just revive the upper deck, change to a more invisible railing for sure. I wonder if it would be possible to work a pergola into it for visual interest. If so it might help distract the eye from the windows.
    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 10:10PM
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