Deck Ideas that you can Consider and Implement
If you love entertaining friends and family outdoors, consider converting your deck into an outdoor living space. There are various design ideas that you can take inspiration from. In fact, you don’t need to hire a professional designer to design your deck. With a little bit of creativity and some skills, you should be able to transform your deck into a cozy abode.
There are lots of factors to consider when building your deck. If you want it to stand out, you should think outside the box when it comes to its design. If you need some inspiration to get you started, here are some ideas to consider.
- Concrete – if you live in an area with harsh weather, then a durable concrete deck would be perfect. Aside from its durability, another great thing about having a concrete deck is that it looks organized and symmetrical. This design is also recommended if you plan on installing a pool. But remember that using the most appropriate footing and the right concrete blocks is important. This is to ensure that your deck is leveled well and will remain stable. Most of all, it should be able to hold up heavy amount of traffic, most especially if you are fond of throwing outdoor parties.
- Wood – wood is mostly preferred when it comes to building a deck. It’s economical and can work with almost every design that you want. It is also known for its rustic beauty that will surely stand out.
Wood is also very easy to clean and maintain, as long as it is polished during installation. In fact, all you need is to keep them termite-free and clean, and they will surely last for very long. Of course, this will also depend on the type of wooden material you use. But the best thing about wooden decks is that you do not need a separate garden or landscape since you can choose to keep plants into the deck and it will already look charming.
- Stone Paver – just like with the concrete deck, the stone paver is also recommended if you want a durable deck at home. The great thing about having stone paver is that they no longer need to be finished or colored, since the bricks and the stone alone will give it an authentic feel. The stones are available in varying sizes and shapes, and are perfect for those who want a rustic feel for their deck.
You should not let your limited space discourage you from building a stylish and beautiful deck. In fact, you will find that there are so many small deck designs that you can incorporate in your home. Careful planning is important so you will not end up wasting your time, money and resources. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Decide where you want the deck to be installed – the most ideal location for your decking is somewhere where the traffic patterns in your house can extend. For instance, if you already have access to your outdoors, then you should use that area for the location. If you prefer for it to have a doorway, then you need to come up with a walkway that won’t cut across your deck’s seating area.
- Keep the design simple – when it comes to smaller decks, you should keep the design simple. This is the safest approach. For instance, a square shaped decking can provide for a lot of usable space. Most of all, it is easy to build so it’s perfect for those who will opt for a DIY approach. The key is to include a sensible pattern of traffic into your design plan that will allow people to easily get into the yard when passing into your deck.
- Take advantage of nearby shades – if your house is surrounded with shrubbery and trees, take advantage of these for your privacy and shade. For instance, look for a shade tree in your house and install the deck there. This way, you and your guests will be protected from the harsh sun just in case you are having an afternoon outdoor party.
- Add guard railings – if the area in your deck for walking is more than 30 inches higher from the ground, then you should make sure to add railings for safety. The railing must be about 36 inches high and have balusters that are not more than four inches away from each other.
As mentioned, railing is important especially for decks that are installed about 30 inches above the ground. A railing that matches with the material used for building your deck is ideal. But if you want a unique look, you can mix and match materials. For instance, you can have a wooden railing in your concrete deck, or the other way around. Here are some ideas to guide you through.
- Composite and vinyl combination – railings that are made of composite and vinyl are available in different colors and styles, and are almost maintenance-free. You can purchase kits that already come with the components, such as the rails, balusters, connectors and posts, making it an easy DIY project. The overall core of this railing system is often made from wooden posts that are pressure treated and then covered with composite and vinyl sleeve.
- Glass – if you want a sophisticated design, then go for the glass railings. They are also perfect if your deck is facing a scenic view such as the sea or mountains. You can go for tempered and shatterproof safety glass, although it may be necessary to check your local building codes before you start with the installation.
- Metal – railings made of metal are often powder coated with steel or aluminum. They are both rugged, however, only the aluminum is considered rustproof. You’ll find these railings at various home improvement stores and they are available in different colors and styles.
- Cable railings – the cable railing is another good option if you want your deck to open up to views, while giving it a modern appeal. The cables and posts can either be made from composites, aluminum or wood. They can be installed into intermediate posts and could end at the corner where it is then attached into a turnbuckle.
Your deck would not be complete without proper lighting. In fact, this is an important aspect in your overall deck installation project, especially if you plan on using it at night. There are so many options available for you and it’s important that you take time to explore your options. Here are some tips to help you with choosing the right lighting.
- Subtlety is the key – subtlety is the best way to go when it comes to your deck lighting. The last thing you want is to overwhelm your guests with blazing spotlights during nighttime parties. Of course, you also do not want your neighbors to be complaining about your lights beaming into their backyards at the wee hours.
- Purchase pre-packaged lighting kit – if you are doing the installation yourself, you might as well consider buying an outdoor lighting kit that’s pre-packaged and will work well for your outdoor decking. Even if you are not a professional electrician, these kits are safe and easy to install. Moreover, if you feel like adding fixtures to them, you can go ahead and purchase lighting fixtures separately.
- Quality and durability should be a priority – although aesthetic value does matter a lot, you should also put focus on the quality and durability when buying your lighting. Remember, these lights are going to be installed outdoors. Hence, they will be exposed to outdoor elements on a daily basis. So take time to do your research especially if you are buying those pre-packaged lighting kits.
Above ground pools are becoming so popular, especially when summer approaches. They are cheap, fast and easy to install without the need of rigorous maintenance. But in order to get the most out of your backyard pool, you should install a decking to go with it. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Create a secure and safe access – when building the deck, you should come up with something that will allow for a secure and safe access to the pool. You can either design it in such a way that it will border only a certain section of the pool, or perhaps, something that will encircle the pool completely. It should have a surface that is safe and wide enough for users to walk on. You may also consider adding a lounge area on one side, where people can relax and sunbathe after swimming.
- Wooden decks are ideal for DIY – if you are going to build it yourself, then opt for the wooden designs. As for the wood, choose the pressure treated cedar or redwood, although you may need to refinish the wood at least once a year in order to keep it protected from the constant exposure to chlorine and moisture.
- Install railings – to ensure safety, don’t forget to install railings especially if the deck is several inches above the ground. As mentioned above, the railings must be about 36 inches high and have balusters that are spaced at least four inches apart. You may also install a gate in order to secure the pool, especially if you have small kids and pets at home.
- Check your local building code – before you start building, take time to check with the building authority in your area regarding the codes. Usually, they would require for the deck not to be attached into the pool directly or that there should be a certain distance from the edge of the pool to the decking.
- Flooring should be slip-resistant – since people will get wet after using the pool, it’s important that you ensure that the floor surface is slip-resistant. Perhaps, you can go for some synthetic and composite decking that have textured flooring, hence, minimizing the risk of slippage.
Check out this video on constructing a deck.
Perhaps you see yourself spending most of your time at your deck, regardless of the time of the day. In this case, you may need to opt for a covered decking. With a covered deck, you get to enjoy the outdoors even when it’s raining or even when the sun is at its brutal heat. Here are some ideas to consider.
- Pergola – a pergola would be one of the easiest ways to cover your deck. It’s basically a system of rafters that are being supported in both sides by stable posts. They can be made using the same materials as that of your railings and decking or you can have it made in a different material, but with the same color. While the pergolas may not be able to protect you from the harmful rays, they could offer some shade during daytime. You may also grow crawling plants on the rafters and install lighting for a romantic evening get-together.
- Roof – if you want it fully covered, a full-on roof will be perfect. Also called the porch roof, this covering makes use of the same process as that of a normal roof. Aside from the material, you also need rafters, sheathing and support posts to build the roof. You can also have a downspout system and a gutter installed, similar to a regular roof.
- Canopy – this is a great option. It opens up to keep rain and sun away and they are often made out of weatherproof fabric and treated canvas that’s attached to a durable frame made of metal. You can either go for the motorized versions or the cheaper hand operated designs.
You might be tempted to retrofit your existing deck with a new roof, but this option is not actually recommended by experts, except when your deck is built to withstand additional load. But most of the time, they are only made to support limited weight, and thus, they could collapse if you build a roof on it. Instead of saving money, you might end up spending more.
In case you didn’t know, skirting is the material that’s being attached to the deck in order to provide support to the boards and posts right underneath. The skirting is often used on decks that are elevated in order to hide what’s below it and to also enhance its aesthetic value. The skirting can be made from different materials, although the most common of all are fencing boards, faux stone, lattice and bricks.
- Fencing boards – the use of fencing boards for skirting is quite common. The boards are often installed vertically, giving your deck a custom fit, which is great for those grounds with uneven contour. You will have plenty of color options for the fencing boards since you can stain or paint them according to your preferences.
- Faux stones – with faux stones, you will have numerous styles and colors to choose from. This is a great option if you want a sophisticated look for your skirting. They might be a bit expensive, but the durability and aesthetic value can make up for the cost.
- Lattice – this is another common choice for skirting especially for those who will opt for the DIY route, since it’s quite easy to install. You can either go for the wood or vinyl lattice, depending on your preferences, although vinyl is often highly recommended.
- Bricks – the earthy and warm tone of bricks makes it a favorite among homeowners who want a rustic feel for their decking. If you have a classic or rustic themed home, this skirting material would be a great choice. It can seal the bottom of your deck completely that no one will even notice that there’s something underneath.
You don’t really need to spend a lot of money to update the existing look of your deck. With a few decors here and there, your deck can be transformed to a beautiful outdoor oasis. Below are some decorating ideas that are easy to follow and will not cost you a lot of money.
- Furniture – there are lots of inexpensive outdoor furniture that you can decorate your deck with. In fact, you can build your own furniture or restore existing ones. Wooden furniture would work best, especially when you incorporate it with colorful pillows and upholstery. The pop of color can instantly give your outdoor abode a fresh new look.
- Paint – painting is also the easiest and cheapest way to spice up your deck. Applying a fresh coat of vibrant paint may just be what you need to dress up your decking. Following a certain pattern is a great way to give it a unique look. Just make sure you choose the paint that is guaranteed to last long. When you visit a store, look for those paints that are specifically formulated for use outdoors.
- Container garden – if you love tending to plants, then consider decorating potted flowering plants in your deck. Growing flowers is a great way to give color to your outdoor space. You can also add other natural elements to complement with the look. It’s also important that you choose the right container to grow the plants with. Hanging planters can also work best, especially if you will grow colorful flowers in it, such as begonias and geraniums.
- Lighting – as mentioned, lighting is an important aspect of your deck installation project. But in order to give it a charming appeal, make sure to choose the lighting well. Post lighting will be an ideal option if you want to highlight certain features. If you want to save on electricity, invest on solar lighting.
- Rug and carpets – outdoor rugs and carpets can also be used as decoration. Just make sure you choose those materials that could withstand outside elements. Perhaps, you can go for those with colorful designs for a pop of color. During the cold winter months, you can keep the rugs or carpets inside in order to keep them protected.
If you are in a place that is just too hot or if it gets rainy too often, then you might as well include a roof on your deck. Installing a stable and well-built roof can help to beat the heat, while also allowing you to enjoy the space even when there is a downpour. Here are some ideas to help you with.
- Extend – the easiest way would be to extend your home’s roofing into the area where your deck is. The advantage of this is that you will not have to build separate posts since the existing structure could serve as the foundation for the roof. You can either use metal panels, plywood or thatching for this roofing. However, this method will only work if the deck is very near to your house.
- Awnings – if you want a unique look for the roof that will not require the use of any roofing material, choose a fabric awning as your covering. The awnings will no longer require to be mounted in an understructure if they’re installed in a freestanding decking. Awnings will also give a beach vibe to your space, so you may want to consider decorating it with ocean or beach inspired furniture and accessories. You will also love the fact that awnings are easy to install and will not require a lot of your time.
- Pergolas – if you’re not really concerned much about the rain, the pergolas should be a great choice. It will shade your deck from the harmful rays of the sun, while also helping to improve its aesthetic value. If you have a green thumb, consider growing vine plants on the raft of the pergolas in order for it to be able to provide even more shade.
One of the best ways to update the look of your existing deck is to paint it with vibrant shades of color. Most homeowners will choose to paint the stairs, railings, as well as the posts, while they will simply stain the decking. This is because they believe that staining can handle foot traffic much better than painting. But if you want to give color to your outdoor space through painting, here are some ideas to consider.
- Solid color – most homeowners would want to have a solid color on their outdoor abode. This can either be in neutral shade, earthy or wood tone, enough to give the space a refreshed look. Painting your deck in a solid color of your choice can give it a refreshingly new look with less money and effort.
- Stripes – if you want a modern look that will make your deck to stand out, go for the striped pattern. Think of two neutral tones, such as powder blue and white, or other color combinations. You can paint it vertically, horizontally, or perhaps, you can paint along with the direction of the decking boards.
- Pop of color – if you want to add some color to make your deck stand out, then grab your paintbrush and use your artistic skills to draw certain patterns on your decking. You can perhaps paint it in white then draw a few geometric shapes in vibrant hues. This idea will give your space a unique look without having to sacrifice its natural look. If you will opt for the lighter shades, you may need to touch up the paint from time to time since it will have the tendency to get peeled off and scratched.
- Abstract design – if you are artistic enough, then go all out by painting with abstract deigns. You may need to use painter’s tape and stencils to come up with the design that you want. You can go online for inspirations on the design or simply use your imagination and come up with your own patterns and shapes.
Your deck furniture should not only be attractive. It should also be durable enough to withstand the outside elements. You do not really need to spend a lot of money when it comes to choosing the right furniture to buy. The key is to choose something that is durable, attractive and is well within your budget. Here are some important tips.
- Invest on quality – some people tend to put more value for their indoor furniture than the outdoors. But what they don’t realize is that the outdoor furniture is actually more important than the indoor ones. What you will buy to use outside your home should be able to withstand extreme exposure to the sun, rain and wind. Inspect each furniture piece carefully to detect any flaws, most especially if you got it at a discounted price.
- Choose the right materials – to ensure durability, it’s important that you choose the right materials for your furniture. Plastic, PVC and aluminum are lightweight, rustproof and often cheaper, requiring only less maintenance. Furniture made of wrought iron and steel is sturdy and heavy duty but it won’t rust for as long as it’s painted and weatherproofed regularly. If you want a natural look, then you can never go wrong with wood, rattan and wicker furniture.
- Consider the shade – you may consider sitting outside your deck during the hottest part of the day. It could get very unpleasant if your furniture does not come with any shade. Thus, you may want to invest on furniture sets that come with huge umbrellas. These umbrellas are equipped with motorized awning that you can easily open and close.
- Go for versatile furniture pieces – it’s economical to invest on a furniture that is flexible enough to be used everywhere. For instance, you can purchase standalone umbrellas that can be used from your deck to your garden. Perhaps, you can have wheeled carts that you can use to transport food from your kitchen to the outdoors, and many more. These types of furniture are not only versatile, but they are convenient as well.
It would be great to have a bit of privacy in your deck, especially if your house is in close proximity to that of your neighbors. That way, you can do whatever you want in your space without getting exposed to the street, the sidewalk and your neighbors. This is also great for blocking noise that could otherwise disturb the neighborhood. So here are some ideas to consider.
- Curved trellis – if your deck is somewhere near your garden, then a curved trellis would be a good option. You can grow some crawling plants right through it, so when these plants have grown fully, they are able to fully cover your deck just like a wall. You can also have a built-in bench installed within it so you will have a seating area for utmost relaxation.
- Lattice – a lattice fence is also a good idea. Make sure you install it strategically. Stand outside and determine the spots where other people may be able to see you. Make sure you block all of the most revealing views. You can also enhance the privacy and aesthetic value of the space by hanging flower vines on the fence, which can also help the space to look a whole lot better.
- High walls with plants – if you plan to use your space for certain activities like sunbathing, reading and meditation, then it’s important that you fully enclose it. The solution is to build high walls and fences. You can have a customized wall built by a professional or you can make it a DIY project, using wooden materials or other materials that fancy you.
- Bright colored curtains – you can give your deck an instant privacy by installing bright colored curtains. This idea will also amp up the look of your space. Look for bright-colored weatherproof curtains that you can simply hang over the decking. The curtain can shade you from the heat of the sun and can also help in blocking the wind, preventing things from getting blown off easily.
Do you imagine yourself frolicking in a hot tub after a hard day’s work? If so, then you may want to consider outfitting your deck with a hot tub. But in order to get the most out of your investment, careful planning is a must. You should be able to carefully plan the layout, structural supports, location and everything. Here are some ideas to consider.
- Redwood hot tub – when you search for the different types of spas to install in your deck, the Redwood hot tub will most likely be on top of the list. This is ideal for a laid back living, and for those who want the look of nature in their tub. It also gives off a charming rustic feel and can help to make your spa experience even more comfortable and relaxing.
- Modern designed spa – if you want a modern feel, then you can invest on those tubs that have high tech accessories such as iPod docks, LED lights, stereo systems, waterproof keyboards, pop-up TV, and many more. While these types of tubs may come with a hefty price tag, they will surely be worthy of your investment. In fact, having sophisticated tubs in your home can significantly increase the value of your property.
- Make your tub the focal point – one of the best ways to make your deck to stand out is to install a tub in the middle and make it a focal point. This relaxing water feature will surely make an impression. This idea will however require an expert execution since the drainage system of the fountain has to be built within the vault that will also house the hot tub.
- Install the tub at the edge – unlike a swimming pool where you need a wide area of paved space for easy access, the hot tub does not require any of this. Therefore, consider building your tub right at the edge in order to make it seem like an infinity tub that will overlook the beautiful sceneries outside.
Remember that the stairs are as important as the railings and the decking. Without proper stairs, people will not be able to get access into your deck. Of course, safety should be your number one priority when building the stairs and next to that is the aesthetic value. Although building a staircase is a bit complicated, but if you follow some tips, then you should be able to come up with your own set of safe and attractive staircase.
- It should be wide enough – it’s important for your stairs to be wide enough to accommodate the huge amount of foot traffic that they will most likely to handle. Experts will recommend for the stairs to measure at least 48 inches in width, while each tread of the stair should be about 10.5 inches.
- Proper lighting is a must – a lighted staircase can guarantee utmost safety. And if you do it right, the lighting can make for a perfect touch on your outdoor space. You can choose to install a lighting that’s in multiple colors, which can also be fitted on the decking for a more romantic ambiance.
- Paint it with dark colors – if your stairs are made of concrete and are a bit slippery, the solution is to paint it with some coats of enamel. These types of paint usually have nonslip additives, which makes using the stairs safer especially when it’s raining outdoors.
- Add planters on the pathway – if your deck is surrounded with plants, shrubbery and trees, then complement it with your staircase by adding planters at the pathway. You can build DIY wooden staircases that mimic the look of real stairs, creating a visually appealing wall that can go well with the lush landscape in the surroundings. This idea is also recommended for those who want to infuse a natural feel into the space.
Your deck will not be complete without a place where people can rest and take shelter in. As such, installing benches or a seating area may be necessary. Although benches are not that complicated to build and can make for a perfect DIY project, it’s important that you abide with the latest building codes to ensure safety. Here are some ideas to consider.
- L-shape bench – L-shaped outdoor benches can provide for plenty of seating areas in your deck, which is ideal for al fresco entertaining. The bench can be built in one corner of the decking or perhaps around an established tree. The sophisticated design can contribute to the structure’s overall sensibility.
- Long benches – long wooden benches can provide for a perfect place for hosting outdoor parties while enjoying the lush green scenery outdoors. The bench can be attached directly into the decking. You can also use the space underneath the benches as storage space.
- Benches with no railing – if you don’t have a railing on your deck, perhaps, it’s low enough from the ground, then you can use the bench as a railing. You can install them at the edge of the decking in order to serve as a safety protection. In fact, even if your deck is low enough that you believe it does not require a railing, it still needs something on the edge to give it a degree of character and not just merely look like a dull looking platform.
- Get creative – think outside the box when it comes to designing your bench. You do not need to settle with a traditional looking bench. Get creative by installing planters, tables and other accessories. If you are lucky enough to have a tree in your deck, consider building your benches right around it.
Floating decks are those that are not attached to any kind of structure. Also known as free standing, this structure has a few advantages over the standard or attached types. If you go for this design, you no longer need to worry about digging and installing concrete footing that will serve as the foundation. Here are some ideas to help you plan and build a floating type of deck.
- Build it far from your home – decks are usually attached into a house, but there is really no reason why they should be. Sometimes, the best place to set it up is at one of the shady corners of your backyard, surrounded with trees and lush greeneries. The best thing about not attaching it into your house is that you will no longer need deep footings, thereby saving you time and effort, most especially on rocky and wooded areas where digging footings is extremely difficult.
- In between your existing trees – if you have lush greenery in your yard, take advantage of the shrubs and trees by building your floating deck in between them. That way, you will be provided with shade, allowing you to enjoy the outdoors without the harmful rays of the sun. It also gives you your much-needed privacy, shielding you from your neighbor’s eyes and from the street. Another great way of incorporating nature in your design is to build your deck around trees, although you need to make sure that you allow enough space for the trees to grow.
- Install at the corner – the most common shape of a deck is square. In order to give it a twist, consider installing it at the corner. What’s great about building square shaped floating decks is that they can easily go well with a wide variety of places, including in the corner. You can also use the same material for your fence in order for the design to look even lovelier.
It’s pretty easy to stain a deck. However, the process is often divided into two equally important tasks. First is the cleaning and preparation and second is the actual process of staining. To ensure long lasting and effective results, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Do a test – it’s important that you test the stain, in the same way that you would with paint. So before you start working, try it on a hidden area of your deck. If you do not like what you see, you can make use of a stripper in taking off the stain instead of sanding it.
- Choose the right color – it’s always a good idea to refer to the color wheel when deciding on the color of your stain. Choose the most dominant color that you can see on the surroundings and then look for a shade that will complement this color. Use that shade for your stain. For instance, if your home siding has tan or neutral colors, you could opt for the smoky blue color for your stain.
- Consider the natural color of the wood – each and every wooden material has a natural color into it. For instance, pressed pine is usually colored green if it’s unfinished. If this shade does not fancy you, cover it with a solid or semi-transparent stain. Otherwise, you can match your stain color with that of the wood. For pressed pine for instance, a green tinted stain would look best.
- Use stains that are specially formulated for decking – water based and oil based stains can best provide color to your wood and keep it protected against outside elements. Stains that are made especially for outdoors are available in four different opacities. These are the clear, semi-transparent, tinted and solid. Choose something that will match with your taste and preferences.
- Allow the sealer to dry – give enough time for the sealer to dry before applying another coat. Depending on your deck’s overall condition, including the previous state of the applied sealant, you might need to reapply another coat on certain areas or you can totally leave it unstained at all.
In order to fully enhance the look of your deck while also improving your home’s curb appeal, landscaping is a must. There are various landscape ideas to consider when it comes to this. You can perhaps add some plantings, flowering plants, shrubberies and vines on your decking or maybe plant tall growing plants that will also serve as a privacy covering. Regardless of the look that you want to achieve, here are some ideas to keep in mind.
- Plantings surrounding a dining area – if you love hosting lunches and dinners outdoors, then install dining furniture set on your deck and surround it with well placed plantings and potted flowers. The plantings and flowers can create a more intimate and private outdoor dining experience.
- Build a garden – consider building a garden if you have a green thumb. A decking lumber can provide for a suitable material to use for your garden beds. You can choose to grow vegetables or any plants that you fancy. In fact, this is a great idea for those who do not have enough usable space to create a garden. The garden can either be freestanding or tied into a tree or any structure. Making your own garden is also a great way to lessen your carbon footprint.
- Built-in bench that doubles as planters – another smart idea of installing bench on your deck is to build something that can also double as a planter. You can also have a trellis installed at the back of the bench so you can grow climbing plants that can double up as a shade or a privacy covering. When it comes to building the bench and planter, make sure you choose the material that will last for many years to come and that it should be able to hold up well to the growing plants and vines.
Hopefully, these ideas can serve as your inspiration in your project. As you can see, there are lots of ideas out there. All you need is to choose something that matches with your needs and preferences.