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Ideas for Deck Designs

Long ago we stopped designing boring rectangular wood decks built to fit an old picnic table and a pair of dirty boots. Today's decks are complete outdoor rooms, with imagination as the only limitation to what can be created. A quiet retreat or a comfortable place to entertain and relax outdoors is becoming a dream to pursue for many.

By asking yourself some simple questions, and working with your existing property's unique personality, plus borrowing the odd good idea from other decks, you can create the deck of your dreams.

Of primary concern to the design of your deck is the layout of the home and property. Deciding where to put your dream deck on the property is a good place to start. Is it going to be an access into and out of the home, or will it be built further away in the yard? The closer to the home, the more it will be used. Measuring the deck's distance off the ground is another early consideration. High decks require railings to meet safety standards. (At some point you will want to consult your friendly building inspector.)

Exposure to sun or shade is a major consideration in the design and placement of your deck. If you are a sun worshipper and build a deck in the shade, you probably will not be happy. Similarly, someone who prefers a little shade will want to include plans for shade if they can only build their deck with a full southern exposure.

You may have to work around some of the things already attached to your home or in your yard. An air conditioning unit can be moved, but perhaps you can work around it or build toward another area of your yard instead. The same goes for walkways, pools, patios, ponds, driveways, gardens, door exits, and windows, as well as existing trees, shrubs, grading and nice views.

The next area to consider in your design planning is the use of the new deck. A cozy spa area may be just what you had in mind for that private party, or for relaxing before bed. If you do a lot of entertaining a large sitting area will be a must. How many people live in the home, and how many people will you want to entertain on the deck? What furniture and fixtures will be on the deck and where? A table or two perhaps, and how many chairs? Will there be any loungers, a BBQ, swings, hammock, benches, planters, a spa, bars, kitchens, fireplaces, fire pit, gazebo, trellis, pergola, serving trays, or ponds? All these items take up space and need to be placed in the design for proper sizing. The most common error in deck building and designing is making the deck too small.

Remember it is much cheaper to do it right the first time than to build two or three decks over your lifetime in your home. Have fun designing your dream deck and good luck.

Tom Jacques - President,
Hickory Dickory Decks

About the Author: To get more ideas for deck designs, please click on the following link to a deck building franchise in Canada

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