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5 Top Tips for Designing Your Perfect Deck

Trex Deck
Trex Deck

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2017
Categories: Decks & Decking

Many people get caught up in the intricate details of choosing their new deck components and end up missing the mark on the overall design to fit their lifestyle. Granted, it is important to make sure you have the correct hidden fasteners, color-matching screws, code-compliant hardware, railing color and style that matches your composite deck, complimentary low-voltage lighting, accent boarders, mitered corners, fascia, risers, etc. But don’t lose sight of the forest by focusing on the trees.

After you make those critical decisions, step back and remember that you are adding this new deck to increase the enjoyment and relaxation qualities of your outdoor living space and lifestyle. It is a place where you will spend countless hours with family and friends for years to come. Limitless memories will be made with your kids and their kids. Planning your deck size and layout with those important factors in mind is critical to improving those years of memory making.

Here are five top tips for designing your perfect deck.

Size Does Matter, and so Does Shape

 

Some conventional design wisdom directs that a home’s deck should not exceed 20% of the home’s square footage, so as not to overwhelm the visual balance. However, many people spend as much or more time on their decks than they do in their homes during the full swing of the season. If that’s you, and you share your outdoor space with a lot of people, a larger deck will be more comfortable.  If you think its Hip to Be Square, a simple rectangle is fine. But today’s composite decks and metal railings look awesome with curves and mitered angles that deliver the WOW factor, and significantly increase visual impact. Use your imagination.

Make Your Deck Reflect Your Lifestyle

 

What are the common things about your deck that will compliment and improve your outdoor living experience? What will you be using the deck for most often? People who love to party and be the envy of the neighborhood will require a much different deck layout, size, and functionality than family people who want to chill with a few close friends and relatives. For people who want to get away and wind down and be a recluse while reading a book or listening to music, an even different deck experience is best.

Make Your Deck Reflect Your Dining Style

 

Another important consideration is your dining needs. For some, a simple spot to park your grill is all you need. You prefer to dine indoors in the bug-free AC. For the grilling experts, a great grilling station and maybe a smoker with more counter surface area for prep is the ticket. And for the real pros who have serious food game, a full-blown kitchen, built-in countertop seating, pergola roof cover, outdoor fireplace, wood-fired pizza oven, and more work best.

Consider Traffic Patterns

 

Walking pathways to the different designed areas of your deck should be comfortable and make sense. Designed areas such as cooking, dining, relaxing or reading, fire pits or fire tables, gaming areas, and more often won’t take full shape until all of your furniture and amenities are in place. Take advantage of free computer design for your deck ahead of time to better visualize these areas. Make certain that you allow ample room for chairs around your dining table, end tables or a coffee table in the lounging area, potted plants, children’s water tables or sand box in the play area, etc.

Blend Your Deck Into Your Landscape

 

Your deck is the connecting bridge from the interior of your home to nature. Don’t stop your design ingenuity at the bottom of your deck steps. Your deck shouldn’t just dump your guests into your grass in the back yard. Flow the design into a complimentary and functional hardscape landing or full patio, maybe with a fire pit, and surrounded by attractive landscaping. A pergola, in addition to being attractive, provides shade and a great spot to hang plants to soften the area. Consider stepping off onto a large, beautiful slab of granite. From there, create a narrower path of stepping stones or concrete pavers leading to a garden, pavilion, or other backyard feature. Consider wide steps. A five or six-foot wide step is large enough to incorporate potted flowers or built-in plant boxes without impeding safe navigation.

[Photos: Trex Company

Tagged:decks, decking, outdoor living

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