Make Your Deck Cozy for Fall

5 Ways to Make Your Deck a Cozy Gathering Place This Fall

Make Your Deck Cozy for Fall

Fall is the perfect time to gather out on the deck and enjoy the crisp cool air. That means it’s time to transition your summer deck from a “fun in the sun” hotspot to a warm and cozy autumn hangout!

And here’s the good news: it doesn’t take much time, effort, or money to change the feel of your deck, and effectively reinvent it for the coming fall season.

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Here are 5 easy ways to make your deck a cozy gathering place this fall:

1. Create a Focal Point

One easy way to give your deck a cozier feel is to create a visual focal point. Focal points encourage people to gather, chat and gravitate together in the space. This can be created by using an outdoor rug or a sitting area with a coffee table and comfy chairs. You can also use a stylish Chimenea or an outdoor fireplace to create a warm, inviting focal point

2. Make Large Areas Smaller

Pulling furniture closer together naturally makes people feel cozier. If your furniture is strewn out across the deck, try rearranging it into several smaller seating areas. Also, bring grills, benches and potted plants into tighter circles to improve this effect. You can also screen off larger portions of deck with room-divider screens or trellises covered with fabric to create cozy nooks.

3. Spice Up Your Space

If you want people to gather on your deck, then give them something fun to do!  The addition of a spa or hot tub might just be the thing that beckons everyone outside. Try adding stylish outdoor lighting or strings of outdoor lights to further enhance that cozy glow in the evening.

Remove canopy umbrellas, sun-lounging chairs and other remnants of summer. Then try placing sturdy, woodsy furniture, like Adirondack chairs and picnic benches. Add some large, cozy pillows to encourage people to kick back and relax.

4. Add Some Greenery

Cozy Deck Greenery for Fall

Adding plants are a quick and easy (and budget-friendly!) way to update your outdoor areas each season. Vines crawling up a pergola softens the space while adding interest. You can also create a splash of color with potted plants and seasonal flowers like goldenrod and chrysanthemums. This not only adds color and interest, it also gives you the flexibility to replace them depending on the occasion or your color palette.

3. Use Warm Colors

Summer means bright-colored plastic and garish, colorful decor. Fall calls for a more subdued, warm palette. Earthy tones like maroons, oranges and rusts. You can easily change out your color scheme by changing out cushions, accessories and carpets. Consider adding painted wood-furniture with deep-red and orange throws for snuggling under!

When making your deck the superstar of your cozy autumn gatherings, you’re only limited by your creativity and imagination! And don’t hesitate to stop by your local GNH Lumber for expert tips and guidance for your decking project.

Fall Deck Design TipsStop in to your local GNH Lumber for more tips and techniques for making your deck the gathering place of the season. We have outdoor furniture, lighting, Halloween decorations and other items to help you create a magical effect this fall!

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Newly Stained Deck

How to Choose the Right Deck Cleaning Product

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Newly Stained Deck

If your wooden deck is faded, grey or stained, a bit of washing with the proper deck cleaner and a fresh coat of stain will completely transform your outdoor space! Plus, it will protect your deck from the elements and help extend its life.

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Choosing the right cleaning product beforehand will ensure that your newly stained deck will looks its best and last the longest. Set your deck up for success with this deck cleaning guide from Duckback:

Exterior Wood Stripper

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Wood Stripper

Use a deck stain stripper on all exterior wood that has been previously treated or stained. Superdeck® Exterior Wood Stripper is a ready-to-use solution that will remove paint, stains, and varnishes from exterior wood to help reveal only the wood’s original grain. Apply with a roller or brush, let sit for 30-35 minutes to penetrate the wood. Rinse with garden hose and repeat if necessary!


Exterior Wood Brightener

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Wood Brightener

After stripping the wood surface, applying Superdeck® Exterior Wood Brightener helps neutralize the wood and open wood pores so that stain can penetrate the surface. Formulated to remove the dark brown to black discoloration from wood that was caused by tannin stains, nail stains, and rust stains. Wood Brightener should be used after Superdeck® Wood Cleaner or Superdeck® Wood Stripper in order to bring back the natural color of the wood. Apply with pump up sprayer, let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with garden hose.


Exterior Wood Cleaner

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Wood Cleaner

Superdeck® Exterior Wood Cleaner is intended for older decks. Formulated to remove foreign matter from wood, including oxidized (failed) coatings, dirt, grease, oil, pollen, algae and surface stains caused by mildew. Apply with pump up sprayer, let sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with garden hose. Use a scrub brush for tough stains and repeat process if necessary.

How to Prep Your Deck for Stain - Rinse Cleaner


Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces - Rustic Table

Get Inspired by These Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces!

The deck design you choose will define the way you enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.

With the weather warming up and the days growing longer, your friends and family will likely want to stay outside from breakfast through dinnertime!

So, don’t forget to include a cozy outdoor dining area in your deck planning process.

Looking for deck dining layout inspiration?

Here are some of our favorite dining area layouts from TimberTech AZEK to help spark you imagination:

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1) Invisible Walls

Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces - Invisible Walls

This modern layout treats the back deck like an additional dining room – except with invisible walls. The full, pitched roof and stocky columns reinforce the illusion that this is, indeed, another space inside your home. Skylights in the ceiling and tall potted plants highlight the sense of being inside/outside during your family-style meals.

2) Half-Walls

Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces - Half Walls

Another way of creating the sense of an “inside room outside” is with half-walls that designate your deck’s dining area. This adds a cozy feel for late morning brunches or early evening cocktails. Utilize large planters against one of the walls of the dining space to create a truly garden-like atmosphere. And add soft accent lighting to the tops of the walls for a romantic glow after dark.

3) Rustic Table & Benches

Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces - Rustic Table

When it comes to creating a country-style breakfast party on your deck or back porch, set out a rustic woodgrain dining table in a corner of your space and – voila! Instant country-breakfast charm! Using a combination of chairs and rustic benches for seating adds whimsy and contrast. Don’t forget to include farm-themed table settings for that down-home, country feel.

4) Grilling Station with Barstools

Cozy Outdoor Dining Spaces - Grilling Station

If grilling and chilling with friends is more your speed, consider a custom grilling station compete with built-in burners, warming drawers, ice-coolers, and sinks for added convenience. Entertaining? The sit-down bar is the perfect place to survey the grilling action and sip a brew while taking in the savory scents of summertime.
Still not sure about your deck design? Get a glimpse of your finished project by using the TimberTech AZEK Deck Designer tool! Build and customize your dream deck right from the comfort of your home using a desktop, laptop, or tablet.

And don’t forget! The helpful staff at GNH Lumber is ready to help you create the perfect cozy outdoor dining space to match your dreams and stay within your budget! Visit us in Greenville or Windham to discuss your decking project.

Is it time for a brand-new deck? Get your deck project started today by requesting a project quote or scheduling an appointment to discuss your project. Get your deck or porch project started!



How to Clean and Prep Your Deck or Porch


If your wooden deck is grey, dull and weathered, or if it no longer repels beads of water, then it’s time to clean and treat it! Pressure-washing alone isn’t enough. Regular maintenance, combined with select cleaning and restoration products, will help protect your wood deck surface, ensuring a longer lifespan and many years of enjoyment. Plus, it looks amazing!

So, why not restore your deck to its original glory for the outdoor entertaining season? With a little bit of time and effort, your rough-looking old deck can look brand new again! 

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If your wood deck looks rough, but most of the boards are still intact and the structural components are sound, then you are a prime candidate for deck restoration. Here’s our step-by-step guide for how to clean and prep your deck or porch:

1) Sweep & Repair

How-to-Clean-and-Prep-Your-Deck-or-Porch---RepairBefore you apply a cleaner or bring out the pressure washer, you must first sweep the deck surface free of any debris or leaf matter and give an initial rinse with your garden hose spray. Also, cut back any vegetation that has begun to encroach on the deck surface from shrubs, bushes or low-hanging tree branches.

Ideally, a wooden deck should undergo a thorough sweeping and rinsing every year to remove accumulated debris. It’s a good idea to clean between the cracks of the deck boards with a putty knife to remove any leaf matter that might be caught there, which can cause rotting boards over time. Next, repair or replace any broken boards, as needed.

2) Cleaning the Wood


Next, apply a deck cleaner and work the entire deck surface with a long-handled, poly scrub-brush. For regular maintenance cleaning, we recommend Benjamin Moore “CLEAN” concentrated formula to remove mold and mildew from your wooden deck surface. (If you have weathered stain or paint on the deck, you’ll want to begin with their Benjamin Moore “REMOVE” product to remove it and then you can skip the CLEAN product).

It’s easy to apply the cleaner with a garden sprayer. Mix the CLEAN solution with water in a garden sprayer according to the product container instructions. Apply in sections, allowing the mixture to penetrate the wood for 10-15 minutes, and then use a stiff poly brush to work the mixture into the surface of the wood. This helps remove as much of the mold and mildew as possible.

Finally, rinse well with a pressure washer or hose fitted with a nozzle.

Repeat this step with the Benjamin Moore “RESTORE” and “BRIGHTEN” products.

RESTORE helps restore old, severely weathered wood using a non-bleach formula that is gentle on the wood and surrounding environment. And BRIGHTEN removes the tannin and rust stains in the wood. It also breaks the “mill glaze” on newer wood so that it will accept the oil stain. It also counteracts the darkening caused by the previous step.

Allow the deck to fully dry before moving on to the next step.

3) Sanding

When the deck is fully dry (36-48 hours after washing, depending upon humidity and weather conditions), it’s time to sand the surface.  You can use a pole sander with an 80-grit sandpaper to remove all the loose wood fibers that were lifted by the pressure washing. Or, try using a DeWalt 5-inch variable speed random orbit sander with an 80-grit sandpaper to really smooth out the surface.

When you’re finished sanding the entire deck, use a leaf blower or the reverse outlet of a wet vac to remove dust from the surface and between any cracks.

4) Staining

The best time to stain your home’s exterior, deck siding, or outdoor furniture is when temperatures are moderate (above 50°F, but below 95°F), the humidity is low to average, and there is no rain in the immediate forecast. Ideally, you should have three to four consecutive dry days prior to beginning any exterior staining project.

Another tip: apply stain to the deck floor using a 5-inch stain brush versus deck pads or rollers. A brush like this makes it easy to get the stain between the spaces of all the deck boards.  And it’s quicker than you think! Pick up Bravo Stain Brushes at GNH Lumber in Greenville and Windham.

When applying the stain, work in four-foot sections of 3-4 boards while maintaining a wet leading edge. Then allow the stain to cure for 24-48 hours before placing furniture or allowing water to meet the deck surface.


And there you have it! Restoring a wood deck is a satisfying job that reaps huge rewards. Dedicate a couple of weekends to the project, and you can completely revive your old wooden deck, ensuring many more years of outdoor enjoyment and entertaining.



4 Ways to Create the Perfect Deck Retreat

Want to create a peaceful deck retreat? It’s fun and easy to transform your deck into a lounge that your family and friends will enjoy all season long! If you’re thinking of building a brand new deck, or rethinking your existing deck, GNH Lumber is ready to help you make your dream deck a reality!

TimberTech® composite decking is an excellent choice for low-maintenance durability and style.  That’s because TimberTech® decks are durable enough for your family to enjoy for years, without the hassles of annual staining and sealing. They give their traditional capped wood composite decking the strength it needs to battle almost anything Mother Nature—or your family—throws its way. But they don’t sacrifice beauty for backbone.

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Want to create a deck that will help you relax and regenerate? Well, get ready to light up the grill, kick back, and enjoy…

Here are 4 easy ways to create the perfect deck retreat:

1. Create a Corner Nook

If your deck has a corner, try assembling benches with throw pillows inside the cozy nook, or add comfy lounge chairs or even bean bags.

No corners available? No problem! You can also screen off larger portions of deck with room-dividers or trellises covered with fabric to create custom corner nooks. The bonus of creating these custom nooks is that you can choose fabrics, plants or flowers that accentuate your deck color scheme.

Deck Retreat


2. Wrap Around Views

Decks that wrap around the second story of a home give tremendous access to views, and they create a feeling of spaciousness and peace.

Decks like these can double as balconies for morning coffee. Plus, they provide as much aesthetic value from inside the home as they do from the outside.

Quick Tip: If your property has a great view of the mountains or your gardens, why not feature the view from a top story when planning the layout of your deck?


3. Keep the Sun at Bay

Shade for Deck Retreat

Adding a roof, pergola or awning to your deck, is another great way to create a cozy retreat. These kinds of structures or additions allow for lounging during parts of the day when sunlight is at its strongest. Creating cool, shady places to sit and sip a beverage or rock in a hammock is a great way to maximize deck usage. You can also use the covered patio below a second-story deck to introduce swinging hammocks and shaded benches.

Quick Tip: A roof provides the densest shade, while a pergola allows partial sun and a more open feel. Awnings provide partial shade, with the added benefit of being retractable or removable. They also come in materials that screen out the most harmful sunrays.


4. Use Soft Built-In Lighting

Dark evening deck? You can create a serene mood and add lighting at the same time! Try placing votive candles and string lights along the rail of your deck. Or, better yet, add LED lights to the decking itself!

Built-In Light for Deck RetreatsYou can enjoy your TimberTech® Deck long after deck after dark with the subtle glow of low-voltage, energy-efficient LED lights in five functional styles. Each style creates a different dreamy effect on evening decks:

  • Accent Lights: Adding a delicate downlight effect on posts or near stairs with accent lights creates ambience and improves visibility.
  • In-Deck Lights: Mount in-deck lights to your deck’s surface for an ambient glow. Place them around your deck’s perimeter for outer glow and added safety.
  • Post Cap Lights: lluminate the edge of your deck with the soft glow of post cap lights. Add them easily to any TimberTech® RadianceRail® or RadianceRail Express® 4″ and 5″ posts.
  • Riser Lights: Add safety and a soft glow to your stairs with riser lights, warming the path up to your outdoor living space.
  • Under-Rail Lights: Enjoy the subtle downlight of under-rail lights, hidden between balusters in the underside of your TimberTech® top rail.

Soft Lighting for Deck Retreat

Have fun creating a peaceful deck retreat that’s all your own!