Asking the right questions before you begin construction can lead to better design decisions.
Do you look out your back door and long for adding more entertainment space to your home? Decks are an excellent solution for those who love to entertain and enjoy the outdoors. Here are some things to consider when creating the ideal deck for your home.
Designing Your Deck
The first thing to consider is your budget. Sometimes the best place to start is by writing down your entire wish list. Shoot for the stars by listing all the features you would include for your “dream deck” – and then go back through and mark what you need to have and what would be nice to have. This will help you identify your dream budget versus your must-have budget so when you hire a contractor you can share both ideas with him or her and then come up with the deck that you can not only afford but will also love!
Next, consider type and location. Will you have an attached or detached deck? Will it wrap around your home, be multilevel, or will it be located just outside a specific room? It’s important to consider the existing features of your home. You will want to account for things such as a swimming pool, entryways to your home, side yard, roof top potential, dining room, and kitchen arrangements. Think about where you want the deck and how you want it to flow with the house or yard elements and then consider how large it should be.
How will you light your deck? Will you use lighting that is connected to your home electrical service? Other options are Tiki Torches, candles, and outdoor string lighting. A quality contractor like Creative Enclosures can build custom lighting into the deck design. It would be helpful for you to decide in advance how much“intensity” you would like – tastes range from romantic mood lighting to a backyard that lights up like an airport landing strip, and everything in between. Consider if certain areas should include more lighting than others, for example, more lighting over the grill can be helpful to see what you’re cooking. Dimmable lighting near the seating can offer more light when reading and less when entertaining and dining.
Lighting sets the mood for any occasion, so speak with your designer about the type of entertaining you like to do and how you will use your deck space most often.
Next, consider whether you would like to have additional exits for the deck. Most decks will have an entry point from the house and another into the yard. If you have a BIG yard, you may want more entry points. If you are building a deck around a pool, be sure you consider safety when planning the number of exits and entrances and that you consider locks and security if you don’t have an additional fence.
Next, think about whether you will need covered spaces or trellises in your design. You can build a trellis type covering or a gazebo that includes a fan to help move air in the summer months. If you want to use lighting overhead and will be building your deck off in the yard (such as a floating deck or a detached deck), you may want to include a solar powered fan with lighting.
As a note, the materials used to build a deck can make a big difference in durability and ease of maintenance. We recommend hiring a contractor who will use state-of-the-art composites that are 100% maintenance free and last a lifetime. Building a deck with pressure treated wood and other materials will require you to provide upkeep each season to protect the material and avoid deterioration.
Finally, plan for any electrical plugs, built-in seating, storage, and other entertainment considerations that will help with your design.
- Do you throw large parties? If so, you will want to ensure the deck has railings, plenty of room for seating to be added or built in, and room for tables and cooking elements, and multiple entrances and exits.
- Will you mostly enjoy the deck for family meals and sitting outside during nice weather? If so, a smaller deck or floating deck may be a wonderful option to consider.
- Do you have an amazing view in an area of your yard? Be sure to design your deck so you can enjoy that view! If your home is multi-level, you may want to consider a multi-level deck so you can enjoy the view from all levels of your home.
- Do you want to include a built-in fire pit or ice chest for drinks? This is great for families who love entertaining guests.
- Do you want to include a built-in water element or planters around the edge of the deck? These touches can create an even more natural and tranquil setting.
Furnishing Your Deck
When considering furniture for your deck, it is important to think about your style as well as the quality and type of fabrics and materials. In the Northeast, it is nice to have sturdy seating that requires little maintenance. Using cushions that absorb water, for example, will require drying time during the rainy months, whereas using cushions with weatherproofed materials will ensure you don’t have to spend a lotof time waiting for stuff to dry out.
Think about the colors, textures, and type of the furniture you will choose. Do you need sofas and chairs, or just a large table? Coffee tables, fire pits, plants, and water features can all add a nice touch to the decor. How you arrange the furniture can lead to one large seating area or several smaller, more intimate settings.
Knowing exactly what you are looking for when you set out to furnish your deck will help you choose the right amenities.
Enjoying Your Deck
Once you have designed and furnished your deck, it’s time to enjoy it! Send out those invitations, make some phone calls, grab your spouse and head outside! Whatever you do, get out of the house and take time to love what you created. You have dedicated time and energy to creating the perfect space, now it’s time to put your feet up and enjoy it all!