Originally, the house sported a patio covered with a large metal awning, popular in the 70s. Houses all over the neighborhood are decked out with these lovely metal vines. When Nate and I first saw the house, we saw the potential for a deck. We put off building a deck because it didn't seem like a "need."
Personally, I think the house looked better without the awning and I could have gone a summer just enjoying the empty space. Alas, those stairs were a death trap for kids and they made it difficult to enter and exit the house - even for adults.
We naively thought the deck would be finished in one, maybe two, weekends. Alas, it has been a full summer project. But TOTALLY worth it:
As you can see, we need to finish up the pergola and the stairs need some skirting. This week, I will be purchasing a new/used patio set via Craigslist and we'll string some lights. Just in time for the end of summer days!