Planning a Perfect Deck

Planning a Perfect Deck
With the weather warming up and the days growing longer, your outdoor spaces will soon be inhabited as much as the inside of your home. Now is the time to start planning a perfect deck that you will enjoy throughout the spring and summer – and also into autumn or even winter!

A deck can expand the square footage of your living space, and can be planned to match the look and feel of your home, while staying within any budget. It can also increase your home’s curb appeal and property value.

Get your deck or porch project started!

There’s a lot of planning and decision-making that goes into designing and building an outdoor deck. For starters, you’ll need to determine what size deck you’d like, establish a budget, select material, and determine whether you want to build it yourself or hire a professional.

Here are 5 tips to ease the process along:


1. Decide the Deck’s Purpose

Every spring and summer, we get to enjoy the warm weather throughout the region again! A deck may be the answer to extending the enjoyment you get from outdoor living. The first thing to do before you build your deck is to decide how you’d like to use the deck. Once you have a vision for its purpose and function, it’ll be easier to design. Here are a few ways your deck could function in your yard:

  • For entertaining
  • For outdoor dining
  • As a pool or spa surround
  • For outdoor privacy
  • As a place for container gardening close to the house


2. Location, Location, Location

Sometimes it’s apparent where a deck should go but other times, there may be more than one possible location. If that’s the case, how you want your deck to function will determine which spot will be ideal for its location. In addition, think about these considerations when determining a deck’s location:

  • Scaling the deck to the size of your property
  • Tracking microclimates that will affect your deck’s level of comfort
  • Placing the deck in sun and shade for comfort
  • Determining wind patterns that can affect usage
  • Maximizing scenic views
  • Creating privacy from neighbors
  • Having easy access from deck to house

3. Know the Building Codes

Before you assemble your supplies, call town hall or local officials to find out the building codes and legal procedures you need to follow for building a deck. You may need your design approved by your town. City and state laws and permit restrictions vary for residential structure additions or remodeling projects, so do your homework before you start your project. Professional deck designers and builders know the local codes and regulations and will typically take care of the logistics for you.

4. Turn Up the Lights

Lighting gives a deck a certain festive and relaxing ambience while providing more safety for your guests when the sun goes down. The amount of lighting and the types of fixtures (for example, wired or solar) will affect the design and budget of your deck. Here are types of deck lights and locations to consider:

  1. Recessed step lights
  2. Path lights
  3. Overhead lights
  4. Wall or post-mounted lights
  5. Landscape spotlights
  6. Outdoor kitchen lighting

5. Form & Functionality

You might decide to add more functionality into your deck. Certain built-ins give a deck a rich and customized look, as well. Storage on a deck might be designed as benches with hinged tops that lift, shelving, or deck boxes. Here are some items that can be stored safely out of the way on your new deck:

  • Garden tools and supplies
  • Children’s outdoor toys
  • Outdoor patio cushions
  • Outdoor furniture and accessories


An Outdoor Gathering Place

Is it time for a brand-new deck? Are you looking for the right lighting or fun decorations for your existing deck? We’re ready to help you create the perfect cozy outdoor dining space to match your dreams and stay within your budget! Stop in to your local GNH Lumber for tips and techniques for making your deck the gathering place of the season.

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