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3 Considerations for Deck Design

September 26, 2014

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A deck is more than an elevated rectangle attached to the side of your house. When made well, a deck is an architectural masterpiece that enhances the look of your home, serves a certain function and adds value to your property. To build a deck that does all of the above, you need to put some thought and effort into the deck design. Here are a few things to consider when working with a deck construction company to design the deck of your dreams. 

What Goes on Your Deck

Take a moment and think about what you plan on doing with your deck. Is it going to be a place to grill and have outdoor dinners in summer? Or do you plan on hosting family reunions and neighborhood parties? It’s important to decide this now because your deck has to be built with the right amount of support for your intended use.

For example, having a hot tub on your deck adds a lot of extra weight, usually to one of the corners. If you want to have a recessed hot tub that is level with the deck floor, this will require some custom calculations as well. Even if you plan on adding a hot tub later, it’s good to plan and budget for it before the deck is built.

Where the Deck is Located

Many homeowners who are planning to replace their decks don’t think twice about where the new deck goes. Replacement decks are often attached to an existing ledger and frequently recreate the structure of the old deck. This approach significantly limits you in terms of deck design. Think outside the box and don’t feel restricted by the existing structure. Even if you decide to reuse the current house door and general location, change up the design to support your lifestyle. Moving the deck left or right, or adding a wrap-around balcony could make a big difference in the functionality of your deck.

Sometimes, due to your house and backyard layout, you might only have one spot suitable for a deck. And this might not be your first choice either. If the location is too sunny or too shady, think about how you could fix this with your deck design. For instance, adding a screened gazebo in the corner will give you a nice, shaded, insect-free space for al-fresco dinners.

What Happens Underneath

When you build a deck, you lose a good chunk of your yard, but this doesn’t have to happen. The space underneath the deck can still be usable, but you need to think about what it will be used for before deck construction to make the proper arrangements. Depending on how much headroom you have (or are planning for), here are your options for under-the-deck space:

  • A paved patio

  • Enclosed or open storage

  • A screen room

  • A play area for the kids

If you decide to turn the space under your deck into another outdoor entertainment area, then you should be picky about the backside of the construction. Go with ornate finishes on your posts and beams or consider incorporating recessed lighting.

There are many things to take into account when it comes to deck building. The better you think it through, the more use and enjoyment you’ll get out of your new deck. And don’t forget to hire an experienced deck building company to help you out. You’ll be amazed by how much easier and smoother the process will go with the wise guidance of a seasoned professional.

Contact Custom Deck Builders today to talk about design for your new deck. We proudly serve Northern Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania.