Improve the appearance of your yard by installing a quality deck with the help of the experienced contractors at Powerhouse Improvement. Discuss your ideas with our friendly professionals, and we'll design the deck just the way you want it. You can choose from a wide variety of decks for your home.
1) Go Ahead, It's All Free!
Powerhouse will give extensive ideas for your new beck but there are other services that are a great help as well. Check out decks.com’s free deck plans or use the free deck designer which you can easily customize. It's a great tool to play with and great amount of knowledge to learn about.
2) Plan the space for the way you live
Start with general ideas of what the deck can do to enhance your life. What will you really use the deck for? For instance, if you’re not a party animal, maybe you want to emphasize intimate gathering and dining areas. If you love to grill, go a little wild with an outdoor kitchen. Ask family and friends what they’d like from your future deck: maybe. If you enjoy having a lot of people over, will it be best to go big?
3) Plan for the use of area and traffic
Once you’ve got your priorities right, plan a deck that allows enough space for the activities you enjoy, as well as comfortable traffic pathways between and around them. Often these use areas will be visible only after furniture has been set out. You can think of your deck as having specific “rooms” for dining, lounging, cooking, and mingling. Make sure that there will be ample room for chairs around a dining table, small end tables or a coffee table next to lounge furniture, and potted plants.
4)Pick the best materials that fit your needs
For the finish materials—the decking, railing, fascia, and perhaps skirt—many people today choose to spend a hefty amount for composites, PVC, and other materials that are virtually maintenance free. Others prefer to save their money and build with inexpensive treated lumber. Wood surfaces often need to be pressure-washed and sealed once a year or so. But if you prefer the natural look and don’t mind regular maintenance, it may be the choice for you.
5) Shape and Size
Some say that a deck should be no larger than 20% of the house’s square footage, so as not to overwhelm a house visually. But if you spend plenty of time on it, and if it is divided up into clearly different rooms, a larger deck can look and feel quite at home. There’s nothing wrong with a rectangular deck, but consider adding angles or even curves. They will take additional time to build, but can make a deck feel special rather than cookie-cutter. Design with a “theme and variation” approach, so that a certain angle or curve gets repeated, perhaps with different sizes, at various places.
6) The Right Cooking Spaces
If you love to cook outdoors and like interacting with people as you grill, plan an outdoor kitchen with a counter and several cooking appliances. Perhaps include an eating counter with stools just opposite the cooking area, so people can snack, sample, and converse while you cook. If you’d rather keep food prep simple, you may want to make a small alcove off to the side, with just enough room for a grill. Or you may choose to do all your cooking indoors; there’s no rule that says you need a full outdoor kitchen.
7) Get the Views Right
Consider the view, both from the deck and from inside the house. If there is a bulky railing between you and what you want to see, your deck will be a less inviting place. Some possible solutions: Step the deck down with platforms or descending sections, which will lower the railings or perhaps make it possible to do without them. Or choose railings with thin balusters, or even glass panels or balusters. Also, if a certain prospect pleases more than others, plan your deck’s space so that people will naturally turn in that direction.
8) Bridge the House and the Yard
You may choose to build a deck in a style that blends with the house, or you may prefer to make your deck a clearly different place. Where the deck steps down to meet the yard, it often looks and feels best to have some transitional materials, rather than simply stepping off to the grass yard. Stone, pavers, and bricks always looks best next to a deck, whether it is built of natural wood or man made materials.
9) The Vertical Elements
We think of a deck as basically a floor, but it’s the upright components—the railing, skirting, and overhead structures—that actually make the most visual impact. There are a dizzying array of railing designs and components to choose among; take your time to choose a railing that suits you perfectly. If a deck is raised, you may want to install decorative skirting to cover its underside. If there is enough room for a patio below, consider installing a stay-dry system, so the patio can be a retreat during rainfalls.
10) Overheads, Planters, and Benches
Unless you live in an area with perfect weather, you will likely enjoy your deck more in the summer if you have a shade-producing structure of some sort. A pergola is the most common solution; it provides partial shade to a degree that depends on how closely spaced the rafters are to each other. Where the sun is oppressive, consider an awning of some sort. Most decks also benefit from a planter or two—or plan on setting out large pots for your plants. Planters can be placed so as to be part of a railing system, or they can be joined to a bench.
If your looking to redo your existing deck, add on or build one from scratch, let Powerhouse help you with that. Give us a call for your FREE Estimate
and fall in love with your new outdoor space!