It’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about making the most of your yard. You may want more than a simple patio — especially if you don’t want to spend your life weeding between pavers.
Now more than ever, people are talking about the value of connecting with nature and a deck is the perfect place to do it.
We should also point out that a wooden deck can add an 82.8 percent return on your investment to the value of your home. That’s more than a patio.
Creating a beautiful deck boosts your home as an investment and gives you space to relax.
Are you wondering how to design a deck and not sure where to start? Read on to learn more.
1. Decide What Will Suit Your Lifestyle
Before you start picking out materials, decide what you’ll use your deck for.
If you’re looking to make a deck for relaxation, create spaces for outdoor seating or lounging. Consider adding plants. Having greenery around is proven to help improve your emotional and mental health. Maybe you want a hot tub, or you’d like to be able to cook outside in fresh air.
Decide upfront what you’d like to use the deck for so you can choose the right design. You don’t want to pick a deck design that suits party animals but doesn’t scream ‘relaxation’.
2. Pick the Right Plants — or None at All
Following up on the planting idea, decide if you even want plants on your deck. If the deck is small, you can save space by mounting planters on the railings.
For larger decks, you may want bigger containers. You can even use these for growing herbs or scented plants if you want to add to the atmosphere on your deck.
Lavender is a great choice for relaxing spaces. Basil is another good option — and it’s great for cooking with. Try jasmine or night-scented stock if you want to use your deck after dark.
Make sure the plants suit the level of maintenance you’re able to provide. Choose the right plants for your climate, too.
3. Consider Movement Around the Deck
Some people think of a deck as an extra ‘outdoor’ room. They’re not wrong, but you do have to consider how people will move around this ‘room’.
Will they pass from the deck to the yard? How easy will this be? If you have accessibility issues, maybe go easy on the stairs.
These paths of movement also dictate where furniture can go. You don’t want to squeeze past an outdoor grill every time you take out the trash.
Sometimes it helps to think of the deck in a series of ‘zones’ to help contain different types of activity.
4. Think in Three Dimensions
You’re not restricted to a single level for your deck. Maybe you have the space on your property. Or your yard slopes away from the house.
In these cases, consider a multi-level deck. You might have a cozy reading nook on one level. Or a seating area up by the house.
Remember to think three-dimensionally about the space your deck will occupy. Doing this can open up a whole new series of design options.
This also means you may have a patio underneath the deck, depending on its height. It’s an easy way to add a sheltered outdoor space for inclement weather.
5. Choose the Right Materials for You
When it comes to materials for making a nice deck, you have two main considerations: cost and maintenance.
Low maintenance options like composites or PVC cost a lot more. Or you can save money and design a wooden deck that will need annual maintenance.
True, you do need to pick materials you’ll enjoy being around. Add this balance between cost and maintenance into your design.
6. Consider Your View
Wondering how to make your deck nice? Thinking about the view you’ll have when you’re out there.
You may think you have no control over the view from your deck. That’s not actually true because you can always turn the view into a feature.
If your view isn’t a good one, you can always invest in landscaping in your yard to create a new ‘vista’ to overlook.
Landscaping not an option? Set aside space at the edge of the deck. You can add container planting filled with grasses, or build a bamboo screen, to hide any awkward views.
7. Plan for All Weather Conditions
Sometimes the best way to design a deck is to start with your local weather.
Sunny climates require shade to make your deck a pleasant space to hang out. Pergolas are popular, as are awnings. Retractable awnings give you a wider variety of shade options.
Colder climates may want to consider outdoor heaters so you can enjoy your deck outside of the summer season.
Even warmer homes may enjoy an outdoor heater or two if you want to stargaze from your deck.
8. Choose the Right Railings
You have a huge range of railing types to choose from. Planters or screens can hide bulky railings. Or make a feature of them with interesting textures or colors.
You may even be able to install glass or perspex panels. This makes the balustrades as unobtrusive as possible.
Whichever railings you choose should fit in with the overall look and feel that you’re going for.
Stuck for ideas? Visit www.chicagodeckdoc.com for design inspiration.
9. Make Transitions With Care
You’ll have some kind of transition between inside and outside where your deck meets your house.
Making this transition an easy one can help create feelings of calm and relaxation on the deck. You can do this in two ways.
Continue the decor from the deck into the house, or vice versa. This helps to blur the distinction between the two spaces which improves the flow.
Alternatively, choose a different ‘bridging’ material. Neutral colors will help detract from the transition from one space to another.
10. Start Planning the Decor
Choosing the right decor is an easy way to create a relaxing ambiance on your deck. You might choose a ‘theme’ based on where you live.
Driftwood, pebbles, or sand art all work well in coastal areas. You might go for a forest theme or even a desert theme in your deck design.
Don’t feel like you have to stick with local choices. If you’re from the coast but you live near a forest? There’s nothing stopping you bringing a spot of the seaside onto your deck.
Whatever you choose, make sure it creates a relaxing, comfortable space for you.
Learn How to Design a Deck
Take all these things into consideration while you plan how your deck might look. But if you’re still now sure how to design a deck, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Partner with a deck company that will work with you to create your ideal deck.
Keen to find that ideal deck? Ask neighbors if you can see what deck designs they’ve gone for. Browse Instagram or Pinterest for ideas.
And check our DIY category for even more design inspiration!