Make Safety And Convenience The Priorities When Building A New Deck

When planning a new deck on your home, design it with years of use and relaxation in mind. It's easier to plan everything you want on the deck now than modifying it later. Here are some suggestions to make your deck a safe and enjoyable space for yourself, your family and the many people who you'll have over to entertain.

1. Modern construction materials let you spend more time enjoying, instead of maintaining, your deck.

Wood is the typical choice for decking material, but it fades, turns gray and becomes a place for algae and moss to grow. You have to keep the deck clean, power wash it and seal it regularly to keep it looking nice. Modern materials such as composite plastics and vinyl clad aluminum are easy to clean, and they repel sun damage and algae growth. Many of the materials come in finishes that look like wood so you don't have to sacrifice appearance for ease of maintenance.

2. Design the deck with multiple levels for creative use of space.

A two or three-level deck is eye-catching and helps to divide up the space into functional areas that can be enjoyed at different times. Devote one level with the best view to your hot tub and lounge chairs. Create another level with all of your cooking appliances and seating for dining. A third level could include a fire pit with bistro tables and chairs for casual socializing with friends.

3. Make use of the space under the deck.

Most people have empty space under their decks that could be used for various purposes. Design your deck to utilize this space as in the following ways:

  • Build shelves and cabinets to store seasonal items when not in use.
  • Make it a greenhouse where you can store gardening supplies and work on your spring plantings.
  • Cover the space and install infrared heating so you can have a lounge area when the weather doesn't allow sitting on the upper deck.

4. Design the railings to open up the space.

The large wooden railings around the traditional deck obstruct the view. Metal, glass and composite materials are thinner and less noticeable. You and your guests will still be safe but the deck will have a more open feel to it.

5. Design deck lighting for safety and convenience.

Lights can be used to enhance the visual appearance of the deck and keep your guests safe. Place LED strips under railings and along stair risers. Use halogen spots on thin wires above the deck to light up the dark corners. Use soft non-glare lights and fixtures so people can still enjoy the evening sky and scenery.

6. Consider safety with every design feature.

Engage one of your local structural engineer services, such as J J K Group Inc, to review your design and make safety recommendations. They know how the foundation should be prepared for your design and how to integrate the deck onto your house. They will give advice on how to reinforce the deck and multiple levels to accommodate the number of people you hope to entertain.