Deck renovation

This beautiful residence on Mountain Island Lake, 25 miles northwest of Charlotte, NC, had an original deck that was under-sized and unsafe. The home also boasted a spacious but barren backyard that presented the ideal blank canvas for a dramatic transformation.

Palmer’s Project Goals and Challenges

  • We wanted to create several outdoor living areas where different sets of family members and guests could gather at varying times in this gracious space.
  • The weather was a major challenge on this project. We worked on it during a particularly rainy autumn, which presented some unique challenges for the stonemasons.


  • We began by removing the existing deck completely and replacing it with a graciously sized screened-in porch. The screens on the porch were a specialized commercial type that will hold up beautifully over time.
  • Just off the screened porch is a beautiful open deck where the homeowners can grill out and enjoy breathtaking views of the woods. In lieu of traditional wood handrails, we installed a powder-coated aluminum handrail system. This gives the deck a sophisticated appearance that ties in well with the style of the home and made a major difference both aesthetically and functionally.
  • In the backyard itself, we created a beautiful circular paver stone terrace area complete with an outdoor fireplace, electrical outlets and seating wall. Stone walkways connect the lower level seating area (which is sheltered by the `screened porch directly above) to the terrace.
  • This side stone terrace will be a quiet, secluded sitting and barbeque area with a brick wall to provide privacy from neighbors. We coordinated with the stonemasons to wire the space for a future water fountain.
  • To unite the two levels of outdoor living space, we custom designed an angled staircase and coordinated with the stonemason to ensure a seamless marriage of the differing materials on the ground level.
  • The entire outdoor living space was designed to be as maintenance-free as possible. The deck was stained to protect it from the elements. Round fiberglass support columns add a stately and enduring touch. Stone trim on ground-level support columns visually unites the two areas while creating a durable base.
  • The family began using their revitalized backyard before work was even complete. The homeowners were enjoying their fireplace just about nightly while grandkids took full advantage of the backyard.