How to Plan an Outdoor Deck Addition

outdoor deckA deck addition is a perfect way to increase value and give yourself plenty of good excuses for spending more time outdoors. Whether this is a simple structure or as intricate as an outdoor decking with stairs, a pool, and a pergola, it’s important to plan everything in great detail right from the start. Why? Because if you omit something, it might reflect on the deck construction, your budget, or your convenience. So, let’s see which things to consider to plan a perfect outdoor deck addition.

  • Deck location

The location of your deck is determined by the house direction, yard space, and terrain elevation. It is also dictated by your personal needs – you might simply want a pressure treated deck in the front yard.

Today, there are infinite options and the deck contractor will suggest options to meet your space limitations. But the direction of your home and the available yard space will dictate whether your deck will be located in the west, east, south, or north. Why is this important? Because it will give you an idea of how much sun your deck will get or how windy it will get in this specific location. Such things may become a problem unless you have plenty of landscape space and thus location options. If not, another way to solve such problems is to consider the addition of a wooden fence for enhanced protection.

  • Deck shape & size

The size of the yard dictates the size of the deck, unless the landscape is big. In this case, you will need to consider how much space you will need – and add some extra ft. Some extra space always comes handy. Once more, the deck size is determined by how you plan to use this part of the house. If you plan to put a dining table, create an outdoor living room, or simply want space for parties and gatherings, you need to think big.

The shape of the deck often follows the shape of the landscape. If the yard is rather spacious, you can choose all sorts of shapes – it has to do with your personal aesthetics but also the terrain. If this a regular jungle, with elevated sections, cliffs, and gaps, it’s important to let a professional deck company tell you the best options.

  • Deck material

Both wood and composite decks are wonderful choices. Each has its pros and cons. And so, it has to do with what you really want. Wood is elegant, timeless, and unique. No doubt. But it’s also harder to maintain compared to composite decking, which is highly resistant. On the other side, composite decks lack the charm of real wood. And then again, not all wood species are the same. Ipe is much stronger than pressure treated lumber, but more expensive too. So, it always has to do with your family budget as well.

  • Deck rails & pergolas

awning extendedDon’t forget that decks usually have rails. They are often matched with wooden pergolas as well. If you are not planning a simple deck building but a more intricate add-on, you need to consider the extra expense and also the style. The truth is that most decks are matched with railings, and here you have numerous choices among materials and designs. So, don’t leave that out of your plans.

  • Deck safety/convenience

The things to consider before you build a deck are plenty – from the location to the size and the shape to the material and the style. But don’t forget to consider some details that will help you feel safer. For starters, the deck railing system, we already talked about. Not only do you need rails but it’s also vital to choose rails of the right height. The distance between the balusters will also matter if you have kids. Then, consider the lighting, especially if there are stairs. In this case, consider lighting in every stair.

Last but not least, make sure the deck plan is within your budget and meets the building codes. If not, you’ll be in trouble and the plan here is to enjoy!