Playing with a Full Deck

A new composite deck and screened-in porch by Stockell Homes mean optimal outdoor time for Eureka homeowner Elaine Herbst.

By Barbara E. Stefàno
Photography courtesy of Stockell Homes


When Elaine Herbst moved into her Eureka home two years ago, she looked forward to downsizing from the sprawling home and 3-acre lot she’d maintained before. But with an aging cedar deck threatening to thwart her move, she put a redesigned outdoor space at the top of her priority list. The result is a safe and functional deck and porch that effectively expand her living space into the great wide open.

Don Stockell of Stockell Homes worked with Herbst to design the project, expanding the open deck at the side of the house by 2 feet in width and depth. The deck still wraps around to the back of the house but now leads to Herbst’s favorite new feature: a screened-in porch she can access from the deck or a newly installed door from the family room.

“I always wanted a screened-in porch,” she says. “I sit out there every chance I get. Before, it was next to nothing because I’d go out there and grill and get bit up by mosquitoes. It has to be pretty darn hot for me not to go out there.”

Stockell grabbed additional area by replacing a “meandering staircase” leading from the deck to the ground with a straight set of stairs that eats up far less room. “The area at the bottom of the stairs was a dead space with just enough space for a storage box. It was unusable,” he says. “Now there’s a nice bit of landscaping in its place, and a patio.”

A big plus for Herbst is the maintenance-free TimberTech® composite decking material. “I didn’t want any type of material that required upkeep. This stays very clean looking, and it’s no upkeep other than to sweep it off and hose it down occasionally.”

Lighting built into the deck to illuminate walking areas is controlled from inside and provides another layer of safety—meaning more hours to kick back under the stars. It’s so attractive that Herbst leaves the lights on right up until bedtime each night. “I’ve got a nice place to sit with my little dog and relax and enjoy nature. I’m just happy as a lark.”

Stockell credits careful planning with bringing to life a usable space that Herbst can enjoy for years to come. “It’s absolutely worth it to get drawings done, even if you pay for it,” he says. “It’s worth it to see exactly what you want.”     

Stockell Homes, 636-938-5333