When it comes to home improvement jobs, an outdoor deck is an idea that provides one of the best values for the money. It extends the living space of the home, and it does it in a way that is economical and attractive. In addition to that, a deck can really transform the look of a yard and make the outdoor space more useful.
While a deck may not be as big of a construction job as building an addition, it is a project that does require a significant amount of skill and if you want to get the most out of the deck, then you will need to carefully plan that project. With that interest in mind, here are a few of the things that you should consider when you are planning a deck.
One of the first things that you are going to want to consider is the purpose of the deck. Of course, you are trying to make some of the outdoor space more functional, but what do you plan to do on the deck once it is built?
For some people, it is just the simple answer of having a comfortable outdoor space for relaxing and enjoying the yard, but for others, there are plans to engage in specific activities that will center around the deck.
A deck could be a good outdoor space for entertaining guests. You might build a deck with the intention of it being a nice outdoor dining space for the summer. A section of the deck can be designed as an outdoor kitchen. If you have a pool, then you might want to build the deck to integrate with the pool area. Homeowners have several options when it comes to deck purpose, and this decision can help to guide the planning process.
In the past, you only had a few options for decking material, but in recent years, the options have expanded greatly. Instead of just having a few simple wood options, you can now choose between several woods and a variety of synthetic and composite materials.
One popular choice for building a deck is pressure treated lumber. Pressure treated wood is easy to acquire, it can work well in a variety of different applications and it is resistant to rot and fungus. The one issue with PT lumber is that it can be prone to splitting and warping. The lumber itself is affordable, but the homeowner will need to make sure to pressure wash it every spring. Additionally, the deck will need to be restained and resealed every few years.
Composites and plastic lumber have become popular deck building materials over the last few years. With composites, you have a material that is part wood fibers and part plastic, then with plastic lumber, you have pieces that are entirely made of plastic. The advantage to these options is that they are affordable and they are very low maintenance. The downside is that you have to rely on prefabricated parts, so it can limit some of the options. Now, there are several different pieces that are made and they can be worked into various designs, but these materials tend not to be quite as versatile as wood.
Using a natural wood is the classic option for deck building and homeowners do have several options. You can choose woods that run from the native redwood and cedar to imported tropical hardwoods like ipe. A deck that is made from a natural wood will look great, but it will require a good amount of maintenance. Additionally, choosing the right wood can be difficult. Different cuts of wood have different properties and the environmental conditions on your property can make one type better than others. If you hire a company that is experienced with deck building, they should be able to evaluate the circumstances and make a good recommendation.
To some degree, the size and shape of a deck are going to be dictated by the amount of space that you have in the area in which the deck is being built and the shape and design of the home. When it comes to shape and design, you want the deck to play well with the architecture of the house. Following lines that are similar to the lines of the home will give the deck a more integrated look. A failure to consider the architecture of the home can make for a deck that will seem a little out of place, and it could result in an end product that is less than pleasing.
Another factor that you want to consider in this regard is the landscaping of the yard. If you already have elaborate landscaping features in the yard, then you want to take steps to make sure that the deck fits in with the landscaping. If your landscaping is rather basic, then you may want to consider adding different landscaping features that can accent the deck.
When you are building a new deck, you will have several options for features that you may want to consider. You can build benches into the design of the deck, if it is going to be an outdoor cooking space, then you can build things like counters and storage, you could build in some shading and you could have garden boxes integrated in with the deck. In addition to these options, you also have different choices that you will need to make in regard to things like handrails and stairs.
Beyond that, you can also consider whether you want to have lighting built in with the deck. If you plan to use the deck in the evenings, then the lighting can be an important consideration. With the modern outdoor lighting solutions that are available, homeowners can have some really nice, stylish lights integrated into the deck.
If you are planning to build a deck, then it is something that you want to take the time to do right. If you take the time to consider your goals and plan accordingly, a deck can do really big things for a home. At Montclair Construction, we have years of experience with planning and building decks for the residents of the San Francisco and Oakland area. Give us a call and we can help you to plan and build a deck that will fulfill the full potential of the project.