We knew we wanted to replace the scrimpy off-white range hood and we decided that adding a built-in one would make the kitchen feel updated.

We knew we wanted something more up-to-date, and when we went shopping for one, it quickly became apparent that upping the budget for one by $100 gave us a hood with a microwave built-in, fashionable space-saver.  It would mean that Mr. Carpenter would be stealing some space from the cabinets over the range, but it gave the kitchen a more modern look, so we decided it was worth the labor cost.

While Mr. Carpenter installed the microwave, and hung the new kitchen cabinet doors, Mr. Lucky and I worked outside to spruce up the deck.

It would have been nice to replace the boards on the 184-square foot deck, but that would have cost over $500, so instead we just pressure washed it and gave it a coat of Cabot’s solid color deck stain.

I also pressure washed the sidewalk leading to the deck, pruned the shrubbery, and planted some annuals I knew wouldn’t be too demanding (vinca).

The posts surrounding the deck were in terrible condition, so Mr. Lucky bought 4 x 4-inch pressure treated lumber and, using an old post as a template, cut new ones to replace all of them. He bolted them on and then we glued on copper caps and ran a new rope through the post holes. It’s not exactly a safety railing, but the deck doesn’t sit high off the ground.  It must be “to code” because all the units in the complex have the same design.

I feel strongly that creating an outside seating area is crucial in staging, especially where there is a view. Now that the deck is done, we can bring over that spare set of outside table and chairs I have at home.