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Deck designs to reflect your family

Deck designs can reflect the unique tastes and lifestyle of your family.
Deck designs can reflect the unique tastes and lifestyle of your family.
photo courtesy of Justin Kendrick

The weather is beckoning you outdoors. Now is the time to think about converting that patch of dirt outside your patio door to a fantastic new deck. Well thought out deck designs will create an outdoor living space perfectly suited for your lifestyle. Take the time now to consider all of your options.

Size and shape are important.

How high off of the ground will your deck be? Is there enough space to install multiple levels, creating “rooms” and improving traffic flow? Make sure that the deck framing will not obstruct any windows, venting outlets or trees.

Now that you know where the deck can go, decide how big it will be. The golden rule is to build the most deck you can to fill the space and stay within your budget. You won’t regret having too large of a space, but you may kick yourself if the furniture or BBQ won’t fit well and you have to sacrifice atmosphere or function.

Deck board direction is another consideration. Install decking on an angle, straight across or in a herringbone pattern (creating a “V” shape). This is almost like choosing exterior flooring. Make it visually appealing to dress up the space.

How about the railings? Find out first whether building codes will dictate the height or style necessary. Then think about materials.

Wooden picket railing are popular and can be more interesting than the common 2x2 picket style. Add post caps, patterns or inserts. Tempered glass can be installed in a wood frame to maintain a beautiful view, as can aluminum pickets for a contrasting look.

Complete aluminum railings are also available. Powder coated pickets come in a variety of colors and can be straight or curved for different looks.

Stairs will help with traffic flow and can also provide additional seating in a pinch. Flower boxes and pergolas are features that will change the look of your deck and provide shade or extra gardening space. Low voltage lighting can be fitted into the railing or overhead beams, allowing your family to enjoy the backyard long into the summer evenings.

Think of how and when your family will use the deck. Design a surface and area that will provide comfort, function and durability for all. Then your backyard living space will truly reflect your family and make their dreams come true.


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