Deck Design

What to consider in deck designs

Adding a deck to your home can be a wise decision. Not only does a professionally built deck add value, but it also allows you to enjoy your property more during warmer weather. Deck design is a key factor when choosing what type of deck to build and it revolves around how you plan to use your deck.

Planning Your Deck

While cost is certainly a big factor, you'll also need to take into account the size of deck you want to build and how it will fit in with your home and the rest of your property. If you build a deck with only your budget in mind, you may not adequately consider how usable your deck is or how easy it is to maintain. Even if you save a considerable amount of money, you'll feel that it's been wasted if you and your family aren't satisfied with the results. Factors you should consider when planning your deck include:

  • Deck railing
  • Deck stairs
  • Deck drainage system
  • Deck layout and size
  • Specific location of the deck
  • Deck materials

Don't rush the planning stage – make sure you consider as many options as possible before you commit to building a deck. Do you need the basic type or would you rather have a more elaborate deck with features like a deck bench and a hot tub? Remember that you and your family will be spending a lot of time on the deck, so ensure that it meets your needs.

Deck Design Ideas

If you know you want a deck but you're short on design ideas, there are several options open to you. The cheapest and sometimes best idea is to draw a sketch of your home and property and make some copies of it; on each copy you can draw a different deck layout. You might be surprised at how fast this technique can kick-start the idea process. Involve the rest of the family to make sure you have all their needs addressed. Now you have a plan, so work towards it by consulting a contractor, experimenting with deck design software or hunting online for free deck blueprints.

Deck Building Standards

Lastly, there are building standards that must be met before decks can be built or pass a home inspection. Check your local zoning ordinances before you build; they can limit the deck's overall size and the height of items like privacy screens, plus they will dictate the minimum acceptable distance from your deck to the property line. Some even place limits on the percentage of property that the deck occupies. If your deck doesn't meet these standards, you may have a difficult time making your deck a reality.

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