A deck is a great addition to any home. It will give you a place to hang out with your friends and enjoy the fresh air. You can add a grill, creating an amazing outdoor cooking experience. Plus, you’ll be adding value to your home.
But you want to make sure that the deck will fit with your lifestyle. Because of this, you’ll need to make sure that you are designing it correctly. At first, this can be intimidating. Thankfully, there are lots of tips you can use to help you stay on the right track.
Think About How You Intend to Use the Deck
The best place to start is by thinking about the way that you want to use the deck. This will affect every other decision you make, as you want to create the most functional space. Some of the most popular reasons why people want to get a deck include:
- Entertaining space
- Outdoor dining space
- Outdoor kitchen
- A place to relax in the sunshine
- Multi-purpose deck, combining all of these elements
This is the most fun part of the process. Think about your dream deck and what you will be doing on it. Will there be deck chairs to relax? Or are you planning to have a dining table and eat meals with your family?
During this time, it can help to have a look through social media for inspiration. Look at the decks that you like. Take note of the layout they are using. At this stage, you’re just looking to settle on the way the deck will be used. We can worry about specifics later.
It’s also a good idea to get a clear idea of how many people are going to be on the deck. Are you planning on huge parties? Or just a quiet get-together with a few friends? This will affect how large the deck will need to be.
Decide Where to Put the Deck
After you’ve decided that you are going to get a deck, the next question becomes where you are going to put it. This will often depend on the type of property you have. There are a few elements to consider when making this choice.
First, it’s a good idea to think about which side of the house you want the deck to go on. Sometimes, the positions of the doors will decide this aspect for you. At other times, you might have to consider adding a door. You will need to talk to your builder about the prospect of doing this.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at the surrounding landscape. Is there a spectacular view that you want to take advantage of? In this case, you might want to raise the deck for a better view.
Are there any trees or natural features? Just because a tree is growing in the area doesn’t mean that you can’t build a deck. You can put a hole in the middle of the deck for the tree to grow through. This can be a great way of getting some natural shade.
Getting the Right Deck Size
Now we can move into one of the most contentious issues, how large you want the deck to be. There is no hard and fast rule on deck sizing. But there are a few questions you can ask to find the right deck size.
How Will You Use the Deck?
This is the most important sizing element. If you want to get a deck for lounging and soaking up the sun, you might only need something relatively small. All you’ll need is space for some deckchairs and maybe a table for your drinks. On the other hand, if you want an entertaining space, you’ll need to get a bigger deck, so everyone will be able to fit.
As a general rule, it’s a good idea to give each person around 20 square feet of space. This will ensure that everyone can move around comfortably without bumping into each other.
What Furniture Will Be On the Deck?
Think about the type of furniture that will be on the deck and roughly how big the pieces will be. Also, consider any other items you want to include, like a grill. Online stores will tell you the dimensions in the product specifications, so you don’t need to carry around a tape measure.
General Sizing Rules
There are a few other things to keep in mind when deciding how big the deck will be. You often want to stick to a deck that is a maximum of 20 percent of the square footage of the house. This stops it from visually overwhelming the house.
Usually, a small deck will be eight feet by eight feet. The average is around 12 feet by 12 feet. Though, if you have the space, you can go bigger. For example, a 16 by 12-foot desk might be a good choice for those looking for a space to entertain guests. If in doubt, it’s best to get a larger deck. You won’t regret having a little extra room, but you will have problems if the deck is too small.
When deciding how big you want the deck to be, it’s best to consult with a professional. Your builder will be able to help you assess the property and find the best deck size moving forward.
Get the Right Deck Shape
Once you’ve decided on the size, the next big thing to decide is what shape you are going to get. Again, this will boil down to what you are looking for in a deck. Let’s look at some options that you can explore.
The most common shape will be rectangular. This is the easiest to build. Though there are a few ways that you can spice it up. You can add circular sections. These can be a good place for having conversations. A circular section can also prove useful if you are thinking about adding a spa.
Another way that you can make the shape of your deck unique is by adding more angles. When done right, this can prove to be visually striking, helping to set your deck apart. As we’ll discuss later, it can be helpful to use a CAD rendering. This gives you a good idea of what the deck will look like. You can experiment with changing the size and shape.
Finding What Elements to Include
A deck should complement your lifestyle. There are a few ways that you can do this, depending on how you plan on using it. For example, you might want to get an outdoor kitchen. You ask if these elements can be built into the deck.
Consider the Lighting
The next thing to consider is the way you are going to light your deck. Again, there are lots of options that you can explore. You might want to wire electric lights into the ceiling. Fluorescent lights will provide a lot of illumination. Or you can use downlights for a spotlight glow. Wall sconces can be attached to the house.
If you aren’t going to use it at night, you can use lanterns or some fairy lights. These can run on solar power. Though it’s not a long-term solution, you can use candles to set a romantic atmosphere.
Create a Private Space
While you might be creating an elevated space, you don’t want all the neighbors to be watching you lazing about in your underwear. Because of this, you should be designing your deck with privacy in mind.
There are a few ways you can keep the deck as your private zone. First, you can have natural foliage, like trees or hedges, to help obscure the view. If this isn’t possible, you might want to consider using a privacy screen. This can be installed yourself, often within a few minutes.
Think About Shade
The next thing to consider is how you will be shading the deck. After all, you don’t want to be getting sunburnt during the summer months. This shade can also provide some protection from the wind and the rain.
There are a few options that you might want to explore. For example, you have an established tree. You can allow this to grow up through the middle of the deck. The leaves will provide shade. It’ll also provide a focal point and prove to be a conversation starter.
If you don’t already have trees, you can transplant some from your local nursery. Within a few years, you will have a reliable source of shade for generations to come.
Another option is to use a patio umbrella, rather than some permeant structure. This will save you money while allowing you to enjoy the summer sun. If you want a more long-term solution, you can install shade sails. You might even want to use rolling shades. These look beautiful and you will be able to install them yourself.
The best and arguably the most appealing option is to install a more permanent roof over the deck. A good example of this is a pergola. Though this can be a more expensive option when compared to a large umbrella, it will last for a long time. Your builder can talk you through some permeant shade options that you can explore. If you live in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, TNT can be that builder.
Pick the Right Decking Material
There are lots of decking materials that you can choose from, each with its own unique sets of pros and cons. For example, wood is a natural material and will have a beautiful color. But it will take a lot of work to maintain. You’ll need to seal it once a year.
Because of this, it’s best to get a deck that is made from TimberTech’s composite material. There are plenty of benefits that this material can provide. It looks like natural wood, but it will be sealed so you don’t need to worry about the risks of moisture and mold. Because of this, it will last for a long time. Even better, it’s made from recycled materials.
Consider the View From Inside the House
It can become easy to focus on what you can see from the deck. But it can be easy to overlook what you will be able to see when you are inside the house. You don’t want to have the indoor windows blocked by unsightly things like railings or supports for the decking.
Sometimes, you will be able to change some aspects of the deck to avoid these problems. For example, you might be able to lower the deck. Or you can use glass railings, so you can see through them.
Know Your Budget
It’s important to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your budget. This means that there are some features that you might not be able to get. For example, you might not be able to create a curved area on your deck.
But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to get a nice deck. At TNT Home Improvement, we know that not every client will be Warren Buffet. Because of this, we pride ourselves on offering a service that will be able to suit any budget type.
Blend the Deck and the Yard
Moving between the deck and the house should be a seamless experience. The same should be for moving between the house and the yard. There are a few ways that you can do this. You can include stairs, leading down into the yard.
You can also use some landscaping elements to help tie the deck into the yard. For example, you can create a path, leading the way to the deck. You can tie other elements into the deck. If you are making a firepit or bench you can use the same wood color.
Use a Solid Stain
It’s a good idea to consider the color of the wood that you will be using to create the deck. You want to get something that will gel with the exterior of the house. Instead of painting, you should try using a solid stain. This will bring out the natural colors in the wood. It will also be easier to maintain, lasting longer than paint.
Do a 3D CAD Design
Once you have a fairly good idea of what you want the deck to look like, it’s time to get in contact with the TNT Home Improvement team. We’d love to come to your house and talk about the project in more depth. We can also do a CAD design. This is a 3D illustration of what the final deck will be.
These renders look very similar to the finished product. This is the ideal time to make any final adjustments and experiment with different designs. Usually, this is one of the last steps in the planning process. Once you have a design that you are happy with, the builder can start creating the deck of your dreams.
Get an Engineer to Approve
While a deck might look great on paper, we don’t want it to collapse after a few years. Before we can start building, we need to get an engineer to take a look at the design and give it their tick of approval. That’s why TNT Home Improvement has our own in-house engineer, to help speed up the process so you can get to building faster.
Think About Traffic Flow
Once you have a completed deck, it’s time to think about the type of furniture layout you are going to use. There are a few ways you can make sure that everything is in the right place. One of the most important principles is to think about the way that people will move through the deck. You don’t want to design the space so you end up smashing your shins into tables. Because of this, you need to have a clear walkway.
It can also be a good idea to have designated zones. This helps keep the deck looking coherent, so you’ll be able to navigate through it easily. For example, you might want to have one part of the deck dedicated to cooking and preparing food. Another section will be used for sitting together and eating the meal.
Though adding furniture can be a lot of fun, it can also lead to a lot of disagreements. Be prepared to move your things around, trying to find the perfect place for everything. During this time, you should take a look at social media. Seeing how other people have arranged the furniture on their deck can give you some inspiration.
Give TNT Home Improvement a Call
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to consider for your next deck and or patio cover project. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. At TNT Home Improvement can help you create the deck of your dreams. We have the team and experience to handle any project and suit any budget. So, if you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit the home page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.