How to Plan for Building a Deck
Get ready for your deck project with these helpful tips on how to plan the building process.
Building a deck can be a daunting task, especially if it's your first time. However, with the right expert advice on how to plan for building a deck, your project can run smoothly and ultimately provide you with a relaxing and beautiful outdoor space to enjoy.
Your first task when planning to build a deck is to decide whether you're going to take on the project yourself, or hire professionals to help plan and build your deck. The general wisdom on decks is that they provide a "moderate-to-hard" challenge for even the handiest homeowners, so if you're slightly daunted by home improvement projects, you might want to hire a contractor to build your deck.
Something for Everyone
Among the many new trends in deck design are multi-level decks for different activities, finished decks which increase your outdoor entertaining options and decks with added water features like this versatile design from AZEK which includes a spa pool and is available in different colors and grain textures.
Step Up to Luxury
Different Levels, Different Views
Pool and Harbor Combo
Integrating nature with your outdoor deck design enhances any entertainment space and here is a novel approach from Urrutia Design that combines trees, potted plants and shade features with Ipe wood, locally made bricks, redwood balusters and a fire pit.
Pool and Garden Access
Decks with a completely finished underside are becoming more popular and this example from Tufdek presents an ideal entertainment space that enjoys easy access to both pool and garden areas. The striking exterior vinyl waterproof flooring is available in a variety of colors and offers years of durability.
Into the Woods
Kona and Redland Rose colors accent this design that uses AZEK decking and custom railings with Decorator Frontier glass balusters to create the sense of an outdoor entertainment space nestled deep in the woods.
Once you've decided the all-important "DIY vs. contractor" question, you'll need to determine what kind of deck suits your needs best. Can you simply build a deck on the ground? With only one step up, this kind of deck won't require stairs or protective railings. Are you looking for something more elaborate like a raised deck with stairs, or even a two-story behemoth with entrances on two different floors? You'll need to decide what type of deck you want to build before you proceed.
Whether you or someone else will be doing the actual building, you can generate a detailed deck building plan by utilizing many widely available digital deck planning tools. For example, many home improvement companies provide free-to-use deck design software, which will allow you to design a virtual deck before the first hammer is raised.
Deck calculators can also be a helpful resource as you begin planning to build a deck. These handy tools allow you to determine how much of any particular material you'll need for your deck based on its size, plus the approximate cost of the individual materials and the full project.
Planning for your deck project can seem overwhelming, but by answering a few key questions up front and making use of helpful digital tools, you can ensure that your deck will be ready in no time and built to your exact specifications.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas
- Deck Boards: New and Replacement Options
- Great Escapes: Dealing With a Too-Big Deck
- Deck Lighting Options
- Decks for Every Location
- Deck Plans
- Outdoor Rooms from HGTV Dream Home 2003