Designing a deck seems to be a very personal task. The style of your home should be a big deal, or it will feel out of place. Over time, we’ve seen each city develop its own style of architecture. One builder borrows an idea from another, and eventually, your city develops its own style. Then, you have a wide range of manufacturers to choose from, each of which has made 2–10 different designs for the product. In the last 5–10 years, there has been no lack of creativity in the deck business.
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Establishing your Wants and your Needs
The majority of individuals desire to construct their own deck, but frequently do not know where to begin. This is how we recommend you begin. Consider examining the big picture. Don’t get stuck up on details. Use your imagination. If you are still uttering phrases such as “I want a deck identical to the one at our previous home,” you are not attempting hard enough. Don’t be afraid of large and audacious ideas. Perhaps you would appreciate possessing your own terraced paradise, an attractive veranda, or another outside place. This strategy will often yield better outcomes than deciding to copy your neighbor’s deck.
You probably won’t be able to incorporate all of these ideas into the final design, but it will be worthwhile if you can incorporate a few of them. Now, let’s determine what you require to build a deck. Do you need a way to enter the backyard from a patio door that is elevated? Need a suitable spot to store your grill? Need a location for summertime outside dining, lounging, and entertaining? Recognizing and negotiating your needs and desires will be essential to articulating your design intentions.
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1) Go Ahead, It’s All Free!
In recent decades, possibly massive amounts of decks have been constructed, thus there is no shortage of tried-and-true deck design concepts. Check out our free deck designs or our free deck designer, which can be easily modified to match your yard and house. In addition, take some time perusing our extensive “Pictures” area, where you’ll find a plethora of fantastic deck ideas. If you find anything appealing, you should use it for your own purposes.
2) Plan for the Way You Live
Start with broad thoughts about how the deck can improve your life. What use will the deck serve? For instance, if you’re not a party animal, you may wish to emphasize dining and private gathering spaces. If you enjoy grilling, go crazy with an outdoor kitchen. Ask relatives what they would like to see in your future deck. Consider design components such as a pleasant discussion pit, container planting, a spa for soaking, and an easy access to the trash can.
3) Plan for Use Areas and Traffic
Plan a deck with sufficient room for the activities you prefer, as well as suitable traffic patterns between and around them, once you have determined your priorities. Frequently, these places will not be seen until the furniture has been arranged. Consider your deck to have distinct “rooms” for dining, lounging, cooking, and socializing. Ensure there is sufficient space for chairs around a dining table, tiny end tables or a coffee table, and lounge furniture and plant pots.
4) Materials You Will Maintain and Enjoy
For the final materials – the decking, rail, fascia, and possibly the skirt – many people today opt to invest heavily in composites, PVC, and other low-maintenance materials. Others prefer to save money by constructing with affordable treated wood or (slightly more expensive) cedar. Frequently, wood surfaces require annual pressure washing and sealing. However, if you prefer a natural appearance and don’t mind routine care, this may be the best option for you.
5) Shape and Size
Some contend that a deck should not exceed 20 percent of a home’s total square footage so as not to visually dominate it. However, if you spend a great deal of time on it and divide it into distinct rooms, a larger deck can feel quite at home. There is nothing wrong with a rectangular deck, but consider incorporating angles or even curves to add visual interest. They require additional construction time but can make a deck feel unique rather than generic. Design with a “theme and variation” approach, so that a particular angle or curve is repeated in various places, perhaps in different sizes.
6) The Right Cooking and Noshing Spaces
Plan an extensive outdoor kitchen with a countertop and a variety of cooking tools if you enjoy outside cooking and socializing while grilling. You may choose to incorporate a dining counter with stools directly across from the cooking area so that guests may nibble, taste, and provide suggestions while you prepare. If you like to keep meal preparation simple, you may wish to create a tiny alcove only large enough to accommodate a grill. Alternatively, you may want to conduct all of your cooking indoors. There is no legislation requiring you to own a barbecue.
7) Get the Views Right
Think about the view, not just from the terrace but also from the interior of the house. Your deck will feel like a less welcoming location if it has a cumbersome railing that blocks your view of the area you wish to look at. Here are some possible solutions. Through the use of platforms or descending portions, the deck may be brought to a lower level, which will result in the rails being lowered or even eliminated altogether. Alternatively, you might choose for railings that have thinner balusters or even glass panels. Also, organize the “rooms” of your deck in such a way that people will naturally turn in that direction if there is a particular view that is more appealing than the others.
8) Bridge the House and the Yard
You may decide to construct a deck design that is compatible with the aesthetic of the house, or you may decide that you would rather distinguish your deck from the interior of the house and highlight the outdoorsy atmosphere it exudes. In many cases, having some transitional materials at the point where the deck slopes down to meet the yard makes for the best look and feel. Stones, pavers, and bricks almost always look handsome when placed adjacent to a deck, regardless of whether the deck is constructed out of natural wood or man-made materials. Combining a deck and patio into one space is a surefire way to achieve success.