Are you hoping to entertain this Summer? Everyone knows that for many of us, it’s the best time of year to have friends and family out on the deck to enjoy the weather.
There are plenty of occasions that warrant an outdoor party. If you have a deck, you should use it to entertain whenever you can. No matter if your style is a barbeque party with the grandkids or a gathering for the next big game, there is a lot you can do to prepare for a summer party.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for making sure that you’re ready for an event on your deck this summer.
Inspect Your Deck
You should do this every season, but especially when the seasons change. If you’re working with an older, wood deck, you don’t want anyone stumbling over a loose nail or hurting themselves. (This isn’t an issue with composite decking.) Deck inspection every season is essential especially when there’s been a particularly rough storm season. Safety should come before all else. These are your friends and family that you’re protecting. So make sure you give your deck a good bit of maintenance before special occasions.
Here’s how to inspect the entire deck. Some of these won’t apply to you if you have a modern, composite deck. (We are here for you when you are ready to upgrade to NexGEN Capped Composite boards.):
- If you have an older deck or a deck made of wood, check for loose screws, nails popping out, and bent screws that you can tighten or replace.
- Inspect for damaged, warped, loose boards or handrails. You can skip this step if you have our NexGEN Capped Composite boards, which use marine grade stainless steel fasteners.
- Look for any cracked components, warped boards, etc. in older or wood decks.
- Inspect the subframe posts for any damage or loose fasteners.
- Inspect outdoor lights and make sure they are still working.
- Inspect and check to make sure that any overhangs or umbrellas still function.
- Check for bee or hornets in the rafters – carefully! Critters like to set up in and under decks.
- Check all parts of the deck that is close to the ground and near downspouts, where trouble can hide.
What do you do about problems? Call about repairs to learn if they are covered under warranty. You can contact the manufacturer for advice on maintenance issues.
Remember that your deck is always exposed to the elements, whether it’s extreme heat or dangerous winds. Try to make it a habit of looking over your deck after storms. Fix small repairs right away.
Clean Your Deck
Cleaning your deck is straightforward; you need to remove dirt and debris. Potted plants would have an ugly mark underneath them. As far as marks or dirt, you can quickly spray most of it off with a hose. If anything remains stuck, use a bucket of warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush. Sometimes there will be a film on composite decks, especially underneath potted plants or debris – while it’s not penetrating the deck itself, it is an unpleasant sight. Use a hose with a broom to remove it. Never use chemicals.
Clean up all food spills as soon as possible, and make sure to check for any of this before and after your party. Many manufacturers will void the stain warranty if they observe that you left a stain on the deck to set. Spray off food and drink stains with a hose and use warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush to remove spills easily.
Prepare for the Party
When you’re getting ready for a Summer party, setting a mood is essential. Comfort is also an issue. Here are some best practices to consider when you’re planning a Summer party on your deck:
- Be clear in your invitations that it’s a deck party. People will want to dress accordingly. Let them know what type of food you will be cooking, and if they should bring a dish or drinks for the gathering. Send the invites either online or through the mail. Make sure to give people the option to RSVP.
- Choose a simple menu. Almost every party has a theme, but if you’re entertaining outdoors, you’ll be eating barbeque. Plan the meal and make it simple, so that you can cook things up in bulk and replenish when needed.
- Choose a safe outdoor barbeque. Many people who like to barbeque will choose to use an electric barbeque or gas barbeque to maximise safety without sacrificing taste.
- Decorate to add ambiance. Set a mood by hanging lights for evening parties. Handing plant assortments, dry plants, and living plants such as succulents can add charm. But don’t limit yourself; you can use fresh or dried bouquets on tables to set a mood. Consider other decors as well, such as garden statues, kitschy art from a thrift store. If you have chairs on the deck, order chair covers that set a theme for your party. They can match the tablecloth if you’re feeling savvy.
- Consider an outdoor deck heater. This would be used a lot more in winter, but we do get some chilly summer nights here in Australia. Outdoor deck heaters bring a bit of luxury and fireplace-worthy warmth to outdoor events. Once you choose a deck heater, you will want to consider lighting as a part of the features of the radiator. Each heater type adds it’s kind of style and comes at different price points. One model to consider is the glass tube heaters, powered by either natural gas or propane, that stand like giant lanterns with a heating element in the center. Another model of patio heater that is on the market looks more like an indoor lamp, with a steel base and bar that reach toward the top, where the heating element glows brightly. It typically has electric heat. You can also even get overhead hanging hat lamps that generally are heated by electricity as well, which are ideal for a covered outdoor space.
Have fun with your deck party and don’t be afraid to be wild and creative! With a few comforts you’ll find outdoors can still be as comfortable as home. Your deck was built for parties and get-togethers, so give it all you’ve got! You’ll have some great food that deserves a share on social media and memories to last a lifetime.
Do you think it’s time to create a gorgeous deck you’ll want to spend time on, year-round? Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you build the deck of your dreams!