6 Tips for Designing a Great Deck

An integral part of the great Canadian experience, a deck is also an extension of your home and a way to express your personality. Design is entirely subjective and a balance of form & function. Upgrading your outdoor living space and designing a great deck should involve plenty of thought and planning, but all these decisions can be overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider when designing a great deck.

Location –  While most of us want our deck to access our house, you’ll want to determine where it should face. A raised deck offers a birds-eye view of all your neighbours, but keep in mind that they will be able to watch you too. Do you want to overlook your neighbour’s junk pile and compost bin, or would that side of your deck benefit from a side wall or sunshade?

Access – Most of us want deck access from our home; however, this can create obstacles. If your deck is accessed from your bedroom, do you want your guests travelling through your bedroom? You’ll also need to ensure that the deck has a slight slope away from the home access to prevent rainwater from entering the home. 

Height – Usually, access to/from the home will determine your deck’s height. However, this can be adjusted with stairs or perhaps a 2-level deck. Don’t forget that decks over a certain height will require guardrails, and so will stairs. You may want to disguise the area below a deck with lattice or other covering and keep in mind that these covered shelters are attractive to small animals, snakes and insects. 

Materials – Sure, you could go with the tried and true pressure-treated wood deck. Before you commit, you might want to consider a few things: the price of lumber, the amount of maintenance required and whether or not you’re up to replacing your deck every 15 years. Spend a few minutes investigating alternative decking materials. For example, metal decking like Paverdeck Plank or porcelain tiles as a decking surface can eliminate nearly all the maintenance of a wood deck, while offering a long list of other benefits.  

Features– If your new deck is going to become the focal point of your outdoor living space, you might want to include things like an outdoor kitchen or even a built-in garden. These are features that work better when part of the initial planning process. Enlisting building materials like a pedestal system can make it much easier to integrate these features – pedestals can help build inherent drainage into your desk design or disguise the water and gas lines to the outdoor kitchen. 

Traffic and Flow – Think about how people will move about your deck and its traffic flow. Consider things like easy access to the stairs and the house access, seating and enough space around features like a fireplace, fire pit or outdoor kitchen, and where you can safely position your bbq. Building a new deck is an exciting time filled with many decisions. By taking these tips into consideration during the planning stages, you’ll be happier with your new deck, and it will quickly become the crown jewel of your outdoor living space. Need more advice on how to create the low-maintenance deck of your dreams? Reach out to Stone Deck Innovations – the Canadian deck life experts!