Designing a Deck

by Doris Donnerman
(last updated May 7, 2014)

Decks can often add a great touch to the exterior of any home, at least if it is designed properly. Designing a deck doesn't require a whole lot of effort, though it does require a lot of thought. To help you make sure that your deck is designed properly, pull out a piece of paper and go through these guidelines. By the time you finish reading and answer each of the questions in the guidelines, you will be able to have the perfect deck for your needs.

  • Do you have enough space? Prior to starting your designing, you need to know exactly how much space you have to work with. Take a few measurements of the area that you will be using for your deck. Write these measurements down so that you don't forget them. You don't need to use up all of the space, but you should know how much space you have to work with.
  • What is the purpose of the deck? Are you going to be using the deck primarily for entertainment? Or will it be one that is primarily for looks and decoration? Knowing the purpose you have in mind for your deck will help you design it properly. Decks that are used primarily for decoration will often look different than decks that will be used for entertainment, though there is often some overlap between the two.
  • Do you need to have privacy? How close are your neighbors, and do they have a tendency to poke their noses into your business? If you would like to have a little privacy from your neighbors, think of adding a few arbors or trellises. Perhaps you could add a few planters to allow some ornamental trees or grasses to help shield the view.
  • How will you get on and off the deck? As you are planning out your deck, make sure that you keep in mind how a person will get on and off of your deck. While these entrances can, and often are, purely functional think of some ways that you can add some beauty to them as well.
  • Have a place for everything. When you are planning your deck, keep in mind some of the different things that you will be doing on it. For example, if you are going to be entertaining then you should have a place for a table and a grill. If you are going to be relaxing, then maybe you should also think about having a place for a future hot tub. Simply put, try to envision a place for everything that you will be using on your deck.
  • Make sure you know your local ordinances. Before you actually begin adding a deck, and before you have finished finalizing your design, make sure that you know your local ordinances. Many times local ordinances will have a dramatic effect on what your final plans are or if you are going to even be able to do the work yourself. You do not want to be half-way through your project only to find that you have to change it because of some ordinance that you didn't know about. Not only would that be frustrating, it could also be pretty expensive.

Author Bio

Doris Donnerman

Doris is a jack of all trades, writing on a variety of topics. Her articles have helped enlighten and entertain thousands over the years. ...

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