When you're ready to add a new deck onto your home, consider all of your options and create the perfect place to relax and entertain. More than just a flat wooden structure tacked onto the house, your deck can be an extension of how you like to live. Here are a few items to think about as you're working with a contractor to design your new deck.
1. Consider your choice of materials.
Wood is a traditional material for decks, but you'll spend time every year keeping it look nice. Wood fades and turns gray as it ages. Wood rot will set in where the wood planks never dry out after rain or snowfall. Your wood deck may need to be power washed and resealed every year to keep it in good shape. Modern composite materials come in textures and finishes that look like real wood but that only need to be swept or hosed off to look good. These materials won't rot, fade, or attract algae and moss. You'll spend more time enjoying your deck than maintaining it.
2. Break up the flat space with multiple levels.
Consider using different levels to emphasize different uses of the deck. You'll have a more interesting space than the typical flat deck provides. Build one level for the hot tub and another for the outdoor cooking and dining area. A large third level can have deck chairs and benches for people to relax and socialize.
3. Make use of the space under the deck.
This is often wasted space, but it has a variety of uses:
- create a storage area for deck chairs, tables, umbrellas, and other seasonal items
- store yard care tools and gardening supplies
- design a sheltered ground-level deck where you can sit outside when the weather is rainy
4. Use creative lighting for safety and appearance.
Flexible, weather-resistant LED strips have a number of uses on your new deck:
- place under deck railings and stair risers to guide people walking on your deck at night
- use colored LEDs to differentiate the various areas of your deck
- outline the deck rails with LED strips on light sensors that control the brightness of the lights depending on the time of the night
5. Open up the deck view by mixing materials.
Railings need not be the same material as the decking. Instead of thick wooden rails that block the view, use thinner composite or metal rails. Use glass or acrylic rails for a see-through effect that opens up the view and allows more light onto the deck.