There is a lot of decision-making and planning that goes into designing and putting together an outdoor deck that you can enjoy at your home. You will need to think about the size of deck that you want, how much you are going to spend on it, the materials that you want to use, and whether you are going to build it yourself or hire a professional to carry the work out for you. Before planning, designing, and building your deck, keep these important factors in mind to help you avoid mistakes and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Function and Purpose
Consider how you will want to use your decking before choosing the type of materials and size that you want to go for. A deck is often the solution to getting more enjoyment out of outdoor living during the summer months, so decide how you are going to use it – will you be using it for relaxation, for placing a hot tub, barbecuing during the summer months, or hosting outdoor parties? Once you have a clear picture in your mind of how you are going to use your deck, it will be easier to put together a design that works well for you and your needs.
Sometimes it is clear to see where your deck should go, but in some cases, there might be more than one possible location to choose from in your outdoor space. If this is your situation, think about how you want to use your deck and where the most suitable location for this will be. Consider the environmental aspects of each suitable location in your garden and where the deck will be most comfortable. For example, if you want to use it primarily for sunbathing, choose the area that gets the most sunlight. Consider scaling the deck to your property’s size and choosing an area where you will get the best view. Depending on where you live, creating some privacy in your deck might also be another important factor to consider when choosing where to place it.
Decking materials are available in a wide range of options that are suitable for all budgets. Before you get started with planning, it is good to have a clear budget in mind since this will help you determine a number of important factors such as the materials that you will use to build your deck and the size of the deck. If you want to have your decking built by a professional, don’t forget to account for the cost of labour. It is a good idea to have several different companies offer you a quote before you decide which one is the best option for you. Don’t forget to ask to see examples of past work either in photos and videos or in-person wherever possible if you want to hire a professional to build your deck.
Choosing a Material
Wood is popular, but it is not the only decking material available to choose from. When choosing a material, consider several factors including the cost, ease of installation, and maintenance over time. Wood, metal, plastic, and composite decking materials are all popular choices. If you want the appearance of wood but with lower maintenance requirements than premium or tropical hardwoods, it’s worth considering composite decking. This is made from a combination of wood and recycled plastics and often has the appearance of a wooden deck thanks to the natural colour options and embossed wood grains. However, thanks to its artificial makeup, it is not as susceptible to as many of the problems that homeowners often face with wooden decking such as warping, splitting, rot, or splintering.
Ecoscape UK produce an award-winning product with their composite decking and offer a huge collection of decking boards for you to choose from. You can choose from a huge range of different colours to find something that suits your outdoor space, and get stain-resistant decking that is designed to retain its appearance for longer and look as good as the day you installed it for many years.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
If you can build the deck yourself, the overall cost of the job will be lower, allowing you to allocate more of your budget to getting higher-quality decking materials, for example. Simple platform decks can look great and they are also fairly easy to build for anybody who has some basic DIY skills. However, if you want something a little bit more detailed or complicated, it’s probably worth getting a professional in to help. It’s also worth considering how quickly you want the deck building. If you don’t mind working a little on it when you have free time then it may be worth doing it yourself. On the other hand, if you want it put up and ready to use as quickly as possible, hiring a professional is your best bet.
Consider the Style
There are various different decking styles to choose from, which might be dictated by the style of your home. Ideally, your deck should complement the design and style of your home rather than clash with it. Round or curved decks with intricate details might look better on older and more traditional homes, for example, while sleek and modern decks go well at new-build and more modern properties. Consider the proportions, lines, and architecture of your home when building a deck to create a seamless extension.
Consider Lighting and Accessories
Finally, consider how you are going to make the deck more homely and comfortable. Often, the best way to do this is by adding lighting, which can create a comfortable atmosphere and ambience while making the deck safer. There are many different ideas to consider for deck lighting including both wired and solar-powered light options. Path lights, overhead lights, post- or wall-mounted lights, outdoor kitchen lighting, and landscape spotlights are all ideal choices for creating just the right amount of lighting on your deck.
A deck can create a stunning outdoor space to relax or entertain friends in the summer, but with so many options available for creating one, there’s a lot to think about before you get started building a deck.