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Your deck should be considered an extension of your living space; Therefore, why not take the time to design a deck that will suit the lifestyle of your entire family? You wouldn’t add on a room without planning, would you?

Below are a few things to consider when planning your deck:

1. How big does your deck need to be? 
  Keep it in scale to your house: While integrating the design with your needs, you should consider how it will fit within the scale of your house. You don’t want it to overpower or come up short with regards to scale.

2. How will you use your deck?

Dining Area: You need at least a 10’x 10’ area to comfortably accommodate a patio table and chairs. Also, for convenience, this area should be arranged close to your kitchen’s access.
  Grilling Area: What would a deck be without a grill? You should have it in an area that is out of the main traffic area to prevent possible bumping into it as well as preventing the smoke from becoming a nuisance. Often times, a niche can be incorporated into the design to keep the grille out of the main line of traffic. 
  Entertaining Area: How much entertaining will you be doing? Would an integrated bench be beneficial? 

3. After you determine how big your deck needs to be, here are some other things to be considered:
  ShadeAre there any overhanging trees to provide afternoon shade? If not, you may want to incorporate a decorative screen or pergola into the design. These additions could significantly increase the amount of time you can comfortably enjoy your deck. 
  PrivacyWill the location or elevation of your deck create a privacy issue with your neighbors? Once again, a screen could be the answer. Perhaps a trellis with ivy may create a more natural look. Various handrail designs can be incorporated to provide additional privacy. 
 
Storage: Given your deck’s elevation, you may want to consider creating a dry space under your deck for storage (riding lawnmower, yard toys, hoses, etc.). What type of underpinning to incorporate to disguise storage area? Here are some products for this purpose: 
http://www.timbertech.com/products/finishing-touches/dryspace-drainage-system/default.aspx
http://www.dekdrain.com/?gclid=CKKvpKq-naACFQk65QodZ270eg 

4. Lastly, you will need to choose the details of your custom-made structure.

Decking Materials: Wood, Composite, Vinyl
  Decking Orientation: Perpendicular to house, Diagonal, Herringbone pattern
  Railing Material: Wood, Composite, Iron, Combination wood and iron, Cables, Glass 
  Deck Shapes: Angles, Rectangular, Octagonal, Round, Square
  Overhead Structures: Pergolas, Trellises, Arbors
  Levels: Multi-level, Single level
  Lighting: Low voltage, solar
  Accessories: Benches, Planters, Fire pits, Hot tubs
  Safety: Stair rails, Gates at stairs, Step lighting

For some really great ideas, check out the following link for customizable pictures to match your design requirements: http://www.decks.com/photosearch.aspx



Budgeting for Decks,
 Better Homes and Gardens
http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/outdoor/decks/budgeting-for-a-new-deck/

Various Costs of Decks, Cost Helper
http://www.costhelper.com/cost/home-garden/deck.html

All Around Deck Reference
http://www.decks.com/

 

 

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