Deck and Pergola Design Tips


A deck may look simply like a bunch of timber boards laid out side by side. A pergola may seem to simply be a roof on four posts. These may be true to a limited extent but there’s more to these outdoor living extensions than meets the eye. Here are some important things to consider for your deck and pergola design.

What Do You Want?

Good designers have a purpose for each element incorporated in their design. The finished product is a sum of the users’ requirements coupled with the design philosophy governing the approach to these requirements. Therefore the success of your deck, pergola, patio or other outdoor extension depends on whether or not it suits your needs and provides for your wants.

Keep It Private

No matter how nice your deck or pergola is you and your guests may find it uncomfortable staying there if you constantly feel that someone is watching you. Privacy is a premium benefit that ranks high in people’s list of preferences. If the area you intend to build on is in full view of neighbours or potential observers then you’d best be making plans to include privacy screens or some such devices to block out prying eyes.

Consider Your House’s Design

It’s a good idea to keep your extension in harmony with the rest of your house. This way it doesn’t stick out like an afterthought. If your home, for example, has a flat roof then it might be a good idea to build a flat roof pergola. Otherwise the extension might end up upstaging the main feature, so to speak.

Consider the View

You’ll want to build your deck or pergola so that it takes full advantage of the view. Unless there’s a very compelling reason for it, you wouldn’t want to have your pergola facing away from, say, a view of the surrounding hills.

Light It Up

Lighting can do wonders for your deck and pergola design. For starters, it’s very practical and allows you to extend the hours of enjoyment beyond sunset. You and your guests can party on until late at night, which is great especially during summer when you’ll want to cool down from the heat of daytime. But lighting can also help you set the mood and enhance the atmosphere.

Pay Attention To the Environment

You should also consider the prevailing climate conditions when designing your deck and pergola. High rainfall or extreme changes in temperature require treated decking boards from Class 1 hardwood timber varieties. If you are in an area prone to bushfire then you’ll want to opt for fire-resistant timber varieties such as Jarrah or Blackbutt.

The Wisdom of Council

One of the most often-overlooked aids to deck and pergola design is Council guidelines. Hidden within these guidelines are design gems that tell you what you can and cannot build, wisdom that has been amassed from decades of study and experience. Know these restrictions well and design your outdoor extension accordingly.


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Attached gable pergola with timber liningIronbark deck over sloping site with inbuilt stairs and stainless steel balustrade

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