Looking to add a new deck to your home? Whether you’re in the process of choosing the right contractor or still trying to decide between a deck or a patio, there are a few things you should keep in mind before taking the plunge. Here are a few things to think about before building an outdoor deck:
The Purpose Of The Outdoor Deck
Before you start planning, it’s crucial to think about what you want your deck for. For example, do you envision it as a space for entertaining guests or hosting BBQs? Once you know how
you plan to use your deck, you can determine the size, shape, and location.
Here are some questions to consider. Feel free to share your answers with your contractor when discussing your project.
- What activities do you plan to do on your deck?
- How many people will be using the deck at one time?
- Do you need multiple seating and dining areas?
- Will you want a built-in grill or an outdoor kitchen?
- Is there a specific view you want to highlight?
- Do you want protection from the sun and rain?
The size is one of the most important things to consider when building an outdoor deck. You’ll want to ensure it’s large enough to accommodate your needs but not so big that it takes over a small backyard.
A second-story deck can be a great option if you need to make the most of a small backyard space. Second-story decks also offer the advantage of providing shade and protection from bad weather under the deck. You can waterproof the area beneath the deck to create an outdoor living space that you can use year-round.
If you have enough space, you may want to consider a multi-level deck with different areas for entertaining and relaxing. You can also create a separate outdoor living area with a pergola or gazebo for added shade and privacy.
Something to determine is the best location for your outdoor deck. When choosing a spot, you’ll want to consider things like sunlight and proximity to your home. Also, is there a view you want to highlight? A deck with a bar top can be a great way to take advantage of a stunning view.
Another thing to keep in mind is how your deck will connect to your home or if it will stand freely. For example, if you plan to have an outdoor dining area, it will be easier to access your kitchen if the deck is connected to your home. Freestanding decks are placed farther away, so trips back and forth to the kitchen may be less convenient. In such cases, you may want to consider adding an outdoor kitchen to the deck, with all the utilities and amenities you could need.
There are many material options when it comes to decks. The most popular options are wood, composite, and PVC.
Wood is the classic decking material option, but it requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. And even with the most careful treatment, wood can eventually warp, crack, or splinter. However, the classic look and feel of wood is hard to beat.
Composite decking is a popular low-maintenance alternative to wood that is significantly more durable. Composite materials are made from wood fibers and plastic, making them more resistant to wear and tear. They’re also easy to clean and require minimal upkeep. A composite deck lasts longer than a wood deck but is more expensive.
Wood decking pros and cons:
+ Classic look and feel
+ Cheap compared to composite decking
– Requires regular maintenance
– Can warp, crack, or splinter over time
Composite decking pros and cons:
+ More durable than wood
+ Low maintenance
+ Easy to clean
– More expensive
Planning For Maintenance
While a wood deck can be a beautiful addition to your home, it’s important to remember that it will require some upkeep. Be sure to factor in the cost of regular maintenance when deciding if a wood deck is the right choice for you. This includes sanding, staining, and sealing the wood periodically to protect it from moisture and insects. You will need to carry out these tasks more often if you live in an area with a lot of rain or humidity.
Composite decking may be a better option if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a wood deck. Composite decking materials come with a higher price tag initially, but they are worth it in the long run.
Make sure to read our article “5 Ways to Increase the Visual Appeal of Your Deck or Patio Project” for more tips on making your deck look great!