Deciding on a Deck

Use these tips to figure out what you want and what you need in a deck.

CI-Timber-Tech_deck-furniture_s4x3 Photo courtesy of Timber Tech

Dining or relaxing outdoors is a whole lot better if you have a clean, comfy place to do it. A patio can fill the bill, and nothing beats the cool grass under a shade tree for a romantic picnic, but a deck built onto the back of your house expands your living space and adds value to your home. Consider the following points to get started.

Understand What's Involved

Decks can be expensive to build and most require that you hire an experienced contractor to do the job. A simple rectangle attached to the house would be fine, and almost any builder can complete the project, but more elaborate decks need the talents of an architect or designer. Factor in materials, labor and the cost of permits when you figure out your budget.


Watch More on Planning Your Deck

Consider How You Want to Use the Space

Split-level decks create dimension and add interest. "Build a deck with different levels for specific activities, such as a conversation corner with built-in seating, a dining area and a casual lounging area," says Jamie Durie, host of HGTV's The Outdoor Room.

If you have a sloping backyard, follow the topography to determine where the different areas should be created. Consider how levels will take advantage of the surrounding scenery and provide different vantage points. "Be sure the railing doesn't obstruct the view," says Jamie.

Assess Your Architectural Surroundings

Let the style of your home inform the style of the deck. You could match the architecture of your house so your deck blends in nicely with your home.

Or go for something that's different, like a beachside contemporary style if you enjoy the seaside, suggests Jamie. Or go Asian chic if a Zen palette is more your taste.

The best way to get the dream deck you've always wanted is to take your time, do your homework and gather inspiration.


Next Up

Decks: Raised vs. Grade-Level

Keep these structure options in mind when deciding on a deck design.


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