What to Consider if you are Adding a Deck to Your Home

When you decide that you want to add a deck onto your home you will need to do some planning and decision-making. To begin with you need to decide what size your deck will be, plan your budget, choose the materials and then decide if you are going to build the deck yourself or have a professional complete the work for you.

Here are ten things to consider so that you will avoid any errors in the design and build of your deck:

  1. Purpose
    Living in a warm climate means that a deck will double as an outdoor living space for a good part of the year. Once you know how you will use the deck, the steps to design it become easier. You might want it for an area to have a container garden or for outdoor dining and entertainment. It could surround a hot tub or a pool or it could be in place to provide privacy when you are outside.
  2. Budget
    The amount of your budget will determine the materials and size of your deck and in most cases, the design. You should remember to add the cost of permits and if you want to hire someone to build your deck, the cost of labour. Remember to add in those extras such as railings, seating, garden boxes and lights.
  3. Material Options
    There are more options for deck building materials than just wood. Some of the most popular options are wood, metal and plastic, but you can also choose:

    • Premium hardwoods which tend to be more durable
    • Wood that is pressure treated and contains preservatives to protect it against the weather including redwood, cedar and pine which provide a look of warmth.
    • Plastic or PVC planks which will not rot and stand up to nasty weather, but can become quite hot in the sun
    • Aluminum decking which is slip resistant but very expensive
    • Composite deck material comprised of recycled plastic and wood fibre which are simple to maintain but can be more costly than traditional wood
  4. Location
    Although it is obvious most of the time where your deck should be installed, you may have more than one location for a deck. The purpose for your deck can help you to decide on its ideal location. You should also consider these things when deciding where to put the deck:

    • The deck needs to be scaled to match the size of your home
    • You will want to maximize the view
    • Ensure that the deck offers privacy from your neighbours
    • Understand wind patterns that may affect your use of the deck
    • Ensure that you can easily access the deck from your home.

  5. Construction
    You can save quite a bit of money if you build your own deck. A platform deck is easy to build and has a classic appeal. If you need more detail than a simple platform, then you need a bit of skill to make sure the finished product looks good. If you want your deck built quickly then you may want to have someone else do it for you.
  6. Style
    Your deck’s style could be influenced by your home’s design. Your deck should complement the house and match its style. The architecture and lines should be followed so that the deck does not look out of place, and it is an extension of your home that looks natural and matches your house’s design and style.
  7. Lighting
    Lighting can add safety at night and adds a festive atmosphere or a romantic ambience. The amount of lighting will also have an affect on your deck’s design and budget. There are many styles of lighting including:

    • Path lighting
    • Post mounted or wall lights
    • Recessed lights
    • Overhead lights
    • Landscape lighting
    • Outdoor kitchen lighting
  8. Add Built-ins
    If you would like to add functionality to your deck, built-ins are the perfect option. Built-ins can customize the look for your deck and add storage in the case of benches which have lids with hinges that lift. You can store many items on your deck in storage built-ins including:

    • Cushions for outdoor patio furniture
    • Accessories for outdoor dining
    • Garden supplies and tools
    • Outdoor toys for children
  9. Privacy
    There are times when you need to build a deck in a location that is not ideal because it is not very private. If the area where you want to build your deck is highly visible to your neighbours, then you want to add some privacy to the deck. You can add privacy screening or plantings that can function as a divider or buffer. Bamboo is a natural privacy hedge that grows quickly and offers a buffer against noise.
  10. Local Building Code
    Before you get started with any construction, find out from your local city hall if there are any legalities to building a deck on your home. You might need to provide plans and drawings for approval. There might be certain permit restrictions for residential structure projects, so you will need to know what those are before you begin.
    Adding a deck to your home can be an exciting project, but you need to carefully plan it and ensure that you have a permit, if required. If you are not much of a, do it yourself type person, you may wish to hire some professionals who will complete the job quickly and ensure it is done right.

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