As an extension of your home, a deck can provide an attractive outdoor area that you can enjoy every time the weather allows. Whether just hanging out and lounging, entertaining or playing with your kids or pet, a well-designed deck can be a favorite part of your home. Understanding important deck design and planning considerations will help your deck become a successful project. Here’s part two to the seven essential elements of a good outdoor deck design. Get your notebooks ready!
4. How will your deck be used? If your property is small and you’re not expecting to entertain large groups, you likely don’t need a huge deck. Your deck should maintain a reasonable scale between your home and property size, size of your family and the deck size. You should not have a small house, small property and a very large deck. The elements should be proportional. You should not build a small deck if you have a large house on large property.
5. Are you considering dividing your deck into different areas? For example, you could have an area for lounging, sunning or reading and another area for dining, entertaining and cooking. Involve your family and make a list of the activities you would like to have. You may want to include a section for children’s games and playtime. Have a good idea of how traffic will flow on the deck and in your backyard. Understand how family, friends and pets will be walking from the front of the house to the backyard, from the garage to the kitchen, from the greenhouse or tool shed to the garden and so on. If you are going to have a deck area for relaxation, you don’t want all the traffic coming out of the house to merge into this area.
6. What shape deck is best for your home? When designing your deck, consider using a variety of shapes. Keep it simple, but don’t be afraid to add an angle or two to the deck design. For example, add curves or diagonal lines to connect two rectangular or square spaces for the deck plan. Connect the different sections with paths, paving surfaces, stairways, arbors, gazebos or perhaps a water pond. Consider using planters or flower pots with attractive plants, overhead structures or trellises, benches and steps to create a transition between areas in the backyard. If you’re not a good gardener, you can still create a low maintenance landscape by using shrubs and other easy-to-care-for plants. Formal landscapes are more symmetrical and use geometric patterns and straight lines. Informal styles use more asymmetry and more curves — wooden decks are often associated with an informal setting.
7. Do you hire a deck designer, do you use deck plans or do you design the deck yourself? Consider using deck plans if you can find plans that you like. One of the best ways to simplify deck building is to use deck plans that have been successfully built before. If you need to make some modifications to suit your needs and home, doing so will likely be cheaper than creating deck plans from the beginning. Unless you live in a very rural area, you will need to check with your local building department to find out what requirements and restrictions exist in your area, especially if you are designing and building the deck yourself. If you’re not comfortable with the process, consider hiring a professional deck designer and a deck contractor.
Done correctly, building a deck will provide countless hours of enjoyment for you, your family and friends as well as increase the value of your home. After all, isn’t enjoying our time off why we work so hard? Visit Medina Exteriors & Remodeling and learn more about creating the perfect deck for you and your home.Share