A kitchen will always be a kitchen, and bathroom will always be a bathroom. But when it comes to a deck, the choices are almost endless. That’s why deciding to build a deck often requires a bit more planning and consideration than other home improvement projects.
The following can help make planning a bit easier:
- Purpose. Probably the most important decision you’ll ever make in regards to your deck will be the purpose for building one. Any outdoor space should reflect your lifestyle — much like your home itself. Will your deck be an extension of your indoor living space? Will it be for entertaining? What about cooking and dining? Consider all the activities you hope to accommodate by building a deck.
- Location. If your home is on a fairly small lot, the choices of where to build a deck will be rather limited. But you’ll still want to consider whether the deck will be attached to the home or a stand-alone structure. You’ll also want to think about the sun and the shade, as well as the privacy and grade for this outdoor space.
- Budget. Coming up with a budget should go without saying. Everyone needs to set some parameters for home improvement projects; otherwise, you could end up adding features you don’t necessarily need. In relation to budget, some factors to consider besides the deck’s purpose would be size, intricacy of design, materials, and built-ins, like seating, railings, etc.
- Materials. The most common choice of materials for a deck is wood. You’ve got the hardwoods, like teak, as well as weather-resistant woods, like cedar and redwood. Of course, there’s always the pressure-treated option. But consider other options. Vinyl, aluminum, and composite decking are all great alternatives.
- Design. If you’re looking for room, building one big platform isn’t your only recourse. The design could include more than one level, allowing people to congregate in small groups when entertaining. It also creates a cozier setting for those times when you just want to kick back and relax.
- Features. The features of your deck is where the “what ifs” come into play. For example, what if there’s only one logical location for the deck, but it gets sun most of the day? You could offset this by building a pergola to provide a bit of shade. What if you live in the city, and your neighbor is close by? A fence or built-in box planters (with shrubbery, of course) could add some much-needed privacy.
- Lighting. Lighting isn’t something many homeowners think about when designing a deck. The focus is mainly on the structure itself — that and the reason for building this outdoor space. Depending on the space, choose more strategic locations to place your lighting. You want to account for both safety and ambience.
If you’d like to learn more about designing and building a deck, please feel free to contact us. The team at Fair and Square Remodeling would be more than happy to answer your questions.