Building a new deck can be a complicated, time-consuming project even if friends are helping out, so it makes good sense to be fully prepared before undertaking such a project. This means considering how the deck is to be used so that needed features can be built in rather than added on later. Since a new deck is likely to become the centerpiece of the yard, it should be both visually appealing and highly functional, to meet the family needs for outdoor yard activity. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions on the approach to deck-building, and a few ideas on what to include.
Start with a Good Plan
All deck building projects should begin with a solid plan for how it is to be built, advises general contractor Tom Silva, including which kinds of materials are to be used, the features that are to be incorporated, and the tools and equipment that will be needed to accomplish the work. It is not an exaggeration to say that the most important factor in the success of building a new deck is the plan on which it is based, so it is definitely worth taking some time to devise a working plan that meets all criteria for functionality and aesthetics.
Use Low-Maintenance Materials
The deck is exposed to all the elements, meaning that some materials will require maintenance to remain aesthetically appealing. Using low-maintenance materials means avoiding the use of materials that will need to be stained over and over again to retain weather tight properties. Better materials in this regard might be aluminum, PVC, or some kind of composite that requires no ongoing maintenance, and is weatherproof upon installation. The popularity of these kinds of materials has been steadily growing for this reason, and low-maintenance materials sacrifice nothing in terms of functionality or attractiveness.
Be Sure to Install Railings
Deck railings are one of the most important features that can be included in the design of a new deck. They constitute one of the most visible features of the deck, they provide an added level of safety for deck users, and railings that are really decorative can add great visual appeal to the whole structure. Before deciding on just what kind of railings to install, a little research on ideas would be worth the time and effort, advise deck experts.
Include Benches and Planters
Building in furniture for the deck and installing planters strategically around it are great touches to include in the deck-building plan. Built-in benches can have great appeal, say home design experts at HGTV, and reduce or eliminate the need for buying a lot of deck furniture. Planters and flower boxes provide a great natural touch on the deck, and can add real beauty when filled with flowers, grasses, and small shrubs. This strategy also tends to harmonize the deck with its outdoor surroundings, to create an organic whole.
Make Use of Space Under the Deck
If the deck is built high enough, the space underneath it can be put to good use so it isn’t wasted. By installing a water drainage system, a dry area beneath the deck is created which can be used for any number of other outdoor functions. For instance, a porch screen can be installed which would not only increase the usable area for family members, but could also extend the time frame that the deck area can be used into the chillier months. In this way, outdoor gatherings and activities could be comfortably held throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons.