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Designing and Building a Deck – Planning Your Outdoor Living Space
Many people are interested in adding to their home and a deck is a great way to add that sense of style to your outdoor living space. If you haven’t built a deck yet, you may be interested in doing so. There are many things to consider before building a deck. A deck can serve many purposes, perhaps the most obvious one is for entertaining purposes but there are many more and we will cover a few of them in this article.
Listed below are just a few of the many factors you need to think about before building a deck. When you think about adding a deck, many homeowners are already picturing that first barbeque or gathering. These are a few of the considerations and benefits to consider before taking the plunge.
Adding a deck to your home can add a sense of style and can give others a sense of who you are. A deck can add elegance; and, it can be seen as the main focus of the backyard. A deck can be added around an in ground pool or it can be used for strictly landscape design purposes, enhancing the overall utility, look, value, and feel of the home. If you are looking for that finishing touch to your unattractive backyard, adding a deck may just be what is missing.
Decks are great for entertainment purposes. The summertime is a great time to have a cook out and gather everyone to your home, celebrating an occasion and the season. Decks can also be a place to relax after a long day at work or in the early morning before a hectic day commences, a moment alone or shared with a significant other. Grab your favorite book and head on out to your deck to catch some sun.
Proximity: Deck Placement and Entertaining
When you are deciding where to put your deck, keep in mind that when you entertain you will need to be able to get from your home to the deck easily with food and beverages. For this reason, placing your deck close to your kitchen can be an advantage.
A Safe Place for the Kids
Decks serve many purposes and they can also be a great place to do activities such as playing a game with your child, painting artwork, or even just snuggling up with a cup of coffee on those cool summer nights while watching the children play.
Many people are not aware of the fact that adding a deck can be cheaper than adding another room. An added deck counts as a living space. A screen or overhang can also be added to serve as covering on rainy days, enhancing usability. Many people use their deck as a way for people to enter their home.This can save wear and tear from your floors getting dirty. Guests can leave their shoes on the deck.
There are however a few obstacles that need to be taken into consideration before building your deck. By thinking things through, you can even eliminate most obstacles.
Where to Place Your Deck: Environmental and Zoning Factors
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are building you deck is where you are going to put it. If you are going to set it up for furniture, pay attention to how the sun hits it. Think about how the sun will affect your guests while sitting outside. Another option you may consider is adding screens or tinted plexiglass to help block some of the sun. You also need to think about how much space you have to utilize for your deck. The size of your yard will determine how big or small your deck needs to be. You are going to need to pay attention to where your property line ends as well as if your city or state has any kind of requirements as far as needing permits.
You also need to think about how your guests will fit on the deck. You should plan and build the deck so guests have plenty of room when you are entertaining. If you have a large family or entertain often, plan accordingly. You will be glad you did.
Yard Size and Decking Alternatives
Additionally, if your yard is too small or you do not have the usable space for a deck, there are many alternatives to think about. There is also the option of having a deck that is not attached to the home. If you opt for this type of deck, a deck away from and detached from the house, make sure you add the appropriate walkway or stepping stones to allow your guests to go back and forth. Another consideration is a Gazebo, to be discussed in another article.
Privacy is another thing to consider when building your deck. Many of us want to be able to have privacy in our backyards. When building your deck, be aware of line of sight issues and how to integrate privacy measures without taking away from the ambiance of the deck and/or detracting from the surrounding landscape design. If you choose to have even greater privacy, consider latticework, shrubs (in landscape built-in boxes), and stonework, often referred to as hardscape structures. Screens may also be added and will help keep bugs and insects out.
If you are one of the lucky people who has a great lake view, or some other scenic area, adjacent to your yard, consider building your deck with the view in mind.
Scenery and Shrubbery
Make sure when you are sitting on your custom built outdoor furniture, made to fit the overall look and feel of your new deck, there is nothing to detract from the experience. Weigh privacy issues with ambiance and overall decking and landscape design considerations. Shrubs and bushes can and do block your view, so you may want to keep your deck clear of these.
Decking: The Right Look and Feel
When you are planning your outside deck, also consider the view of your deck from inside the house. If there are certain features you enjoy about the landscape, enhance them through intelligent design. Make sure the fit is right, inside and out. When you are deciding on your decking materials, choose materials appropriate for usage and climate, both sturdy and long lasting. This will improve your deck’s longevity and the cost of upkeep.
These factors are only a few of many to be considered when building your deck. There are a myriad of considerations and they are all important. The above mentioned considerations will impact how you use your deck and its overall value to you, both in terms of usage and in terms of the resale value of your home (also to be covered in another article).
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