Build a deck with the features you need to relax effortlessly and to entertain graciously.
Every timber deck that’s built is essentially the same as any other one: it consists of decking boards laid out atop a supporting substructure. But that’s where the similarities end and the possibilities begin. Every deck is as individually unique as the needs and preferences of the people who build them and this uniqueness is usually expressed in the design of the structure.
Let’s take a look at some of these design features you can incorporate into your own decking project.
A rectangular deck is often the first thing in mind but it doesn’t need to be so. You can build a deck with an irregular shape if this helps you cover a tricky part of the property or if it suits your design aesthetic. A pronounced geometric shape, for example, can break the monotony of rectangular lines and provide a point of interest that adds to the property’s overall visual appeal.
Roofing atop a deck helps make staying on the deck pleasant. A roof makes staying out on the deck bearable during the months when the sun shines brightly. Of course it also protects you from harsh UV rays that may cause melanoma and skin cancer. But even during the cooler seasons a roof serves to protect you from harsh winds and extreme cold. It protects the deck itself as well by keeping away debris that may damage the decking boards. Equally useful is a roof’s ability to provide a place for electric fans for additional ventilation and for lighting.
Lighting is essential especially if you intend to use the deck or entertain guests out on the deck past sunset. Accent lighting helps illuminate potentially perilous areas such as steps and edges. Ambient lighting makes it possible to move around and enjoy the deck at night. Lighting is also used to set the mood for an evening with friends or a period of solitude.
Some decks need to be elevated and so steps are needed to access the space. But you can also build ramps if you expect to have persons with disabilities use the deck as well. These can also be useful if you expect to bring in heavy loads; you can use a wagon or trolley to bring these heavy items in via the ramp.
Handrails and Balusters
Handrails and balusters are a safety feature that must be present when you have an elevated deck. But they can also serve as design elements to promote clean lines and visual patterns. Handrails and balusters are surprisingly versatile elements that can provide a variety of functions.
You’ll need seats on your deck, of course, for comfort and convenience. You can bring in furniture for that purpose. And you can also build the seating into the deck. In-built seating can cost less but you may be limited by the structure, geometry and size of the deck. In-built seats tend to be placed along the edges of the deck, where they can function as or integrate with handrails and balusters. They may be built inside the deck, but the design better be spot-on because once they’re built they are pretty much a permanent part of the structure. There’s no moving them around to accommodate changes in your design preferences.
Decks can also provide additional storage space. Elevated decks are great because they create a lot of room underneath which you can use to stash stuff in. If you have in-built seating you may be able to use these benches as storage compartments as well.
When you build a deck on a pitched or uneven even surface you may need to build levels to follow the contour of the land. This of course increases the complexity of the build but in exchange you get an outdoor living extension that is more interesting and that provides more design opportunities. Levels break the space up and so therefore break up the monotony as well.
Screens and Gates
Privacy screens and gates serve mainly to protect and secure. But because they are out there they tend to prove surprisingly useful for many other things. Timber slat screens keep out prying eyes but they are also excellent for ventilation. The regular line patterns of the timber slats are also pleasing to the eyes and therefore provide visual appeal.
Pools and Tubs
No need to explain this. Who doesn’t want a pool or a tub built into the deck?