Outdoor Deck Designs
Adding a deck is one of the top five home improvement projects when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck and recovering the costs when you sell your home (according to the 2009-2010 Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report). Homeowners who add a deck to their property recoup nearly 81 percent of the project's cost when they sell the home.
If you're considering hiring a contractor to build your deck, the first step is to have a vision. Are you envisioning an outdoor entertainment hub for frequent barbecues and gatherings? Do you dream about having a hot tub or fire pit? Or do you simply seek a place to relax at the end of the day? In addition to the intended purpose for your deck, your contractor will want to know how big you want the deck to be, what your budget is, and how many people you plan to accommodate. Where you locate the deck is also important, especially if you plan to use it as an extension of your indoor living space.
Get these tipsIn this section, you'll find tips from deck installation professionals on:
- Selecting a location for your deck, considering such factors as privacy, proximity to the home, amount of sun or shade desired, views, wind exposure, and purpose.
- The most important considerations when sizing your deck so it can accommodate all your planned activities while staying in proportion with the size of your home.
- Building a high-elevation deck, so you can create a shaded and sheltered patio area underneath.
- What factors influence the final cost of your deck, including the type of wood or composite material you use, deck design, and special features such as railings, steps and built-in benches.
- Choosing among the most popular woods for building decks, including cedar, redwood, ipe, and pressure-treated lumber.
- How composite decks compare with wood decks in terms of maintenance, appearance and installation.
- Using interlocking wood deck tiles that snap into place to transform an existing concrete patio or a balcony.
- The advantages and disadvantages of various pool deck surfaces, including natural stone, pavers, concrete, brick, tile, spray-on coatings, and rubber.
- Installing railings to improve deck safety and appearance, plus a look at the railing options available such as metal, wood, composite materials, and cable systems.
- Adding lighting to your deck for ambiance and safety, using step lights, post cap lighting, and other options.
- Enhancing the usability of your deck with outdoor living accessories such as a hot tub, a fire pit or a complete outdoor kitchen.
A well-planned deck can transform your backyard into an outdoor retreat that can be enjoyed year-round. Before installing your deck, be sure to consult with a landscape designer for advice on choosing the best materials and location for your deck.