6 Considerations for Outdoor Deck Design

May 22, 2013

Working with a custom home builder to bring your dream home to life is a great feeling. For many homeowners, a deck is part of their dream home. When it comes to adding a deck to your custom home design, you want to make sure it’s the right type of deck for your needs and that it visually suits the rest of your home. Your builder can help you work out the details, but it’s a good idea to put some thought into it beforehand. Here are a few considerations for outdoor deck design:

1. Think About Where the Deck Will Sit in Your Yard

The first consideration you should make with the outdoor deck design for your home is where the deck is situated in your yard. Some people, or even homeowners’ associations, do not want a deck on the front of the home.

You should consider what part of your home you can have the deck attached to and which placement area will look best and most appealing while satisfying any guidelines of your homeowner’s association.

On top of that, you will also want to consider how you want to access the deck and how many access points you want to have. Your builder can take your needs into account and help you figure out where a deck would work best structurally, according to guidelines, and according to what you want.

2. Consider the Type of Decking Material

Another one of the considerations for an outdoor deck design is the decking material you want to use. In addition to the visual look the material gives your deck, you also want to think about any maintenance the decking material will need.

Wood is a popular look for a deck. But, it often needs staining, sealing, re-sealing, and other maintenance to keep it looking great, safe from pests, etc. Other types of decks are composite or vinyl. Both of these options can give you the look of wood with far less maintenance. If you’re not sure, your builder will be able to help you determine which option is best for your needs.

3. Figure Out How You Will Want to Use the Deck

Another one of the considerations for outdoor deck design is how you want to use the deck. What purpose(s) will it serve? Answering this question will be essential to the size, design, layout, etc. of your deck. Focusing on the goal and purpose for the area is one of the tips for creating incredible outdoor living spaces and it helps your builder give you exactly what you want.

For example, if you want the deck to have a hot tub on it, then you need to have a deck with enough room for it, a strong foundation, and plenty of extra support. You also know you need a decking material that is truly waterproof. This ensures the hot tub and the deck are secure and that you don’t need to worry about the excess water and moisture rotting your deck.

4. Determine the Size and Shape of the Deck

Local building codes, HOA guidelines, your lot size, your home design, and more can all affect the size and shape of your deck. How you plan to use the deck will also have a big effect on its size as well as its shape. Depending on your custom home design, lot, and other things, you may even want a multi-level deck.

If you have other plans for your backyard and you don’t necessarily want to expand out into your lot, you can often go vertical instead. A lower deck can provide a cool outdoor patio space that transitions seamlessly into the backyard while an upper deck provides more deck space without taking up more of your land.

5. Consider the Deck Lighting You Need

Your custom home builder will be able to help when it comes to the details and options available for your deck. But, it’s helpful if you think about some of it ahead of time. If you’ll be using the deck during the day, you likely don’t need to worry too much about additional lighting. But, what about evenings as the sun sets or even nights during the summer.

There are a lot of outdoor lighting options, so you will be able to find the right mix for your needs. Small recessed lights on the steps can help illuminate stairs and prevent falls. Wall lights can be installed on the side of your home to help illuminate a deck, path lights can guide people along walkways, etc.

6. Think About the Storage and Seating You Want

The amount of seating you want and also the amount of storage you want can affect the size, shape, and configuration of your deck. Having a good idea of this during design also helps your builder create a deck that truly meets all of your needs.

You can always buy the patio furniture you want. But, when you are building a custom home, you can also build in seating and/or storage as part of the deck design. Built-in storage benches, planter boxes, shelving underneath, storage closets, and more can all help you get the storage and seating you want.

A deck can be a great addition to your custom home design. By taking some time for these considerations for outdoor deck design, it will be easy for you and your builder to make the right choice for your home. If you’re ready to get started on your custom home, call Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090 to make your dream home a reality!