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10 Tips for Designing a Great Deck

Deck designs are a very subjective topic, with no right or wrong answers as it all depends on your own personal preference. On how you personally want your deck to look and feel; it is only with this certain type of subjectivity that cities and the design culture behind them is so distinct from one to another. A person might build a deck to suit his needs but unknowingly strikes a chord with someone else. The other person tries to copy it but adds something to it himself and eventually this butterfly effect continues until a specific style is developed for the entire community.

Here are some things you should consider when it comes to deck design.

The Site and the View

When building a deck it is important to consider where the deck would be facing, what views would you get from your deck, and how the deck will be accessed. Sometimes, people would add or replace the exact copy of an existing deck or just simply not give enough thought to how the deck is to be built.

The door which serves as the primary access to the deck is the main deciding factor for when it comes to how elevated your deck would be. It should obviously be very slightly sloping away from the door so that in case of rain no water enters the house.

If your deck is lower then it would not require any guardrails otherwise. These look and feel heavier as the ground under the deck would be concealed from the view however this creates a covered shelter that may become home to insects and small animals such as possums or raccoons.

Higher decks on the other hand appear to be more lightweight, quite like a floating platform. Guardrails are required for long stretches of stairs as there may be a falling hazard depending on how high the deck will be. This kind of deck gives you an elevated viewing platform to showcase your views of the surrounding landscape.

Your design of the deck is dictated by the views that are around you, after all a higher deck is useless if the only view you are going to get is a rusty old water tower, similarly the lower deck wouldn't offer you views of the snowy mountains if there are any in your area.

A good design makes the best out of its surroundings. It accentuates what's around it but also covers any flaws of the surroundings.

Establishing Wants and Needs

Simply put, most people tend to bog down their creativity by looking at familiar deck designs, after all, we humans are more comfortable with what we have already seen. When you are starting out, consider every single possibility. Imagination is free and somewhere in between, you can find your perfect deck design.

After you are done establishing wants, consider what needs and has to be there. Obviously the design has to be load-bearing but also it has to cover certain access points. What kind of furniture the deck has to accommodate and so on and so forth. Once you are done with this you can make your dream deck real.

Traffic and Stairs

Consider the arrangement of your deck design and how the traffic will flow on the deck. Your furniture should not create a tripping hazard but neither should it look asymmetric. The access to the house entrance and stairs should be clean and easy to locate too.

There are also more subtle ways you can manage traffic. Pointing diagonal decking in a certain direction is one way to suggest paths one should take.

Decking Choice

If the substructure is bread then the choice of decking material is butter. Some people may prefer the look and feel of real wood while others would much more prefer stone tiles or vinyl. It is also important to note that different decking materials have a different amount of maintenance that each requires with Stone being the lowest maintenance and quite literally forever lasting tiling material.

When making choices for the decking material make sure to consider what colors or options it is available in. For most materials, you can use hidden fastener systems whereas systems such as Tanzite Stonedecks require bare minimum fastening with the bullnose edges only as most of it is held in place using poly sand to fill in the seams. The most decking material is available in different dimensions but all these pre-manufactured decking can be altered according to your own needs.

Wooden decks often would need to be stained if that is the material that you will be choosing since non-stained wood decks can warp and crack over time whereas stone tiles and composite decking are much more resilient.

Large decks with redundant colors can appear stale and plain so be sure to make good use of color and contrast. Decking can be applied in many different patterns too to spice up your deck or to bring special space and attention to a specific part of the deck.

How about you head on to our deck design tool and let your imagination run wild. It's completely free and it lets you create your perfect design.

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