Building a Deck? Think Outside of the Rectangle!
If expanding your outdoor living space is on your list of home improvements this year, you are likely already perusing online deck inspiration galleries. Building a deck will add value to your home and provide the perfect spot for entertaining, dining, and relaxing with fresh air and sunshine in abundance.
Before you begin construction, think through the details that will make a good deck a great deck. Adding butyl tape will add to the deck’s longevity. Building in benches or a bar creates extra room for guests. Adding a few design elements will take your deck to the next level.
Here are just a few ways to think outside of the box — or rectangle, as it were.
Choose the Best Materials
The first detail to contemplate is whether to use wood or composite deck boards. Comprising the flooring for your deck, these boards will get the most wear and tear. Composite may cost just a bit more but will allow you to enjoy your deck with virtually no maintenance. On the other hand, wood offers natural beauty and a lower price tag upfront but will require staining or sealing every two or three years.
Because most decks are built on a substructure of wood (in other words, the beams and joists below the deck boards), you’ll want to keep them from rotting by applying butyl tape. This rubbery material will help keep water from sitting on your boards and seeping into screw holes, which can cause significant damage.
Read More: Reasons Why You Might Need a Garden Deck
Consider Color and Texture of Decks
Next, think about the colour of your deck. While many homeowners like the natural look of wood, they express their style more often with various colour and texture combinations.
Popular choices include composite boards with heavy variegation, such as tigerwood, and/or mixing woods and colours. You can create patterns and designs in your deck with different colour boards, much like an inlay in wood. Along with different colours of boards and stains, you might also like to mix materials.
For example, metal or glass railings offer a different vibe and can enhance your view. Some homeowners also like using stone veneer around the base of the deck to give it a more natural look.
Create under-deck space
Most homeowners say they’d like to have more room. In fact, according to Trulia, “less than a third (32%) would choose a home the same size as the one they’re currently living in if they decided to move in a year.” If you have a two-story deck, you can create a room beneath for whatever you need: storage, entertaining space for guests, play space for children, or a quiet spa just for you.
Choose an over-joist drainage system and add a ceiling to create a finished look. Avoid an under-joist system, which can allow water to drip through your deck boards and sit on your beams and joists before moving into guttering below. This dry under-deck space is as unlimited in its uses as your imagination!
Plan for Outdoor Entertaining
Especially as we continue to navigate a pandemic, having comfortable outdoor spaces allows us to continue seeing those we love. When you build a deck, you have the opportunity to add amenities that make it even easier to invite guests.
Enhance your home with an outdoor bar, kitchen, or cooking station — the perfect place for grilling, smoking meats, or cooking in wood-fired ovens. Additionally, weather-resistant televisions and entertainment systems have become increasingly popular.
Strategically place comfortable seating and a heat source or ceiling fans, and you’ll never want to watch a big game indoors again.
Add a Cover
Whether you include a roof, awning, or pergola in your plans, these vertical features can add to the beauty and utility of your deck. Not only can you step out onto your deck without worrying about precipitation, but you’ll also love the shade in the summer. Some homeowners also like to add curtains to their deck’s vertical structures for enhanced privacy.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
As you plan for your new deck, don’t forget to include these accessories for the perfect outdoor living space:
- Comfortable furnishings
- Pops of colour through pillows, rugs, lanterns, or artwork
- Greenery in pots, climbing vines or surrounding landscape (but beware of moisture sitting on your deck — consider putting risers under any plants)
- Lighting for aesthetics and safety — string lights or more permanent fixtures
- Fire tables or water fountains to create a focal point
- Swings and hammocks for lazy days of reading and napping
- Heaters or fans to make the deck useable in almost any season
Creating an inspiring deck begins with you! What are your personal style preferences? How will you ideally use your new deck space? Know how you’ll use your deck and plan all the details around making the most of it year after year.