Making the most of a small Salt Lake City yard

The Avenues area of Salt Lake has a wonderfully rich history and has some homes that are real gems, but it isn’t known for having large back yards. That means that you really have to make every inch count when you are planning your outdoor living space. It can also be a challenge to design a deck or porch that blends with the style of an original home that might date back to the late 1800s.

On one recent Salt Lake City deck project, we replaced an aging redwood deck in a yard that is enclosed by buildings on three sides. The old deck was built on a substructure of railroad ties and had grown soft in spots and was severely warped, creating a potential tripping hazard. The existing deck was built in a zig-zag pattern which was a little too visually busy for such a small space. The new deck is built along one diagonal which opens things up and is far easier to maintain.

The new deck is also made of redwood. Both redwood and cedar have tannins and oils that give them a natural resistance to insects and rot. Redwood requires annual power-washing and application of a water-repellent wood preservative to stay in tip-top shape. Left to weather on its own, redwood will gradually shift to a soft, silvery grey color. If you want to keep its classic red hue, you’ll need to apply stain.

We added a Salt Lake pergola to the space as well. We purposefully left a small gap in the decking so that the owner could keep an existing mature vine that will climb up and eventually be trained over the pergola’s crossbeams. In just a few months, this redwood pergola will create a lovely shaded haven for friends and family visiting the yard. It will also offer a measure of protection for the planks beneath.

We invite you to call for a free design consultation about any Salt Lake City porches, gazebos, pergolas or any other outdoor living project you are considering, 801.683.2355.

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