You’ve built your dream home and now it’s time to design your dream deck! Here are four tips to check before designing and building your dream deck.
Design options are limitless! More decking choices are available than ever before. Popular options include timeless real wood, pressure-treated cedar, and redwood. Hardwoods such as ipe and jarrah exude a luxurious appearance. Although relatively more expensive than other options, hardwoods have become trendy because their longevity qualifies them for the category of composites.
Your dream home deck is the perfect spot for a pop of color, although be sure to choose a hue that complements your exterior color scheme. The days of boring brown are over. Today’s selection of stains and decking enable you to choose a shade that will create a natural extension of your home vs. appearing as though it was simply stuck-on to the back of it.
Material innovations in railings include glass, metal, vinyl, composites, and cabling. These alternatives to traditional wood railing can have an immense impact on the look of your deck. Metal, glass and cabling options are ideal for a contemporary style home while vinyl and composites complement homes with a traditional exterior. If your goal is to create a sleek design, consider using hidden fasteners instead of exposed screw-heads because they exude a clean, simple appearance.
Evaluate materials based on maintenance frequency and Southeast Michigan weather. Today, the most popular deck materials are composites, PVC, and Aluminum because you will never have to stain your deck again. These materials will withstand harsh winters and are as maintenance-free as possible. While they cost more than real wood, they last for decades. When selecting the materials, research the product features, color pallet, warranties and installation instructions.
Avoid opting for low-quality screws to save money because you will end up paying for it later. Their corrosion is inevitable which will not only discolor your deck, but shorten its life. Most likely you have seen old, rickety decks which appear that way most often due to failing fasteners instead of corroding wood. Choosing stainless-steel or coated screws will resist corrosion, thereby extending the life of your deck.
Consider layout and multiple levels to maximize space. For example, if your backyard is on an incline, constructing two or three levels may increase total square footage thereby increasing the total space for your family and friends to congregate. Multiple levels also add aesthetic appeal to what was once a very unattractive and long flight of stairs found on most elevated decks. Incorporating angles and curves require more labor, however they add an aesthetic element of interest to transform your deck into a unique architectural feature.
Keep in mind safety needs vs. aesthetic appeal. Railing is usually not required if your deck remains below a specified height, however it does keep children and adults of all ages safe. Be sure to check your city’s codes before selecting the railing height to ensure it will be in compliance.
Article by: Jennifer Elkow
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