Nothing complements a home like a well-planned and designed deck. Choosing the right deck is a lot like deciding on a new pet - both require well-reasoned planning.
Here are some considerations to help ensure that you build the ideal deck.
First, consider the location: front, back, sides or a wrap-around. The north side of a home is typically on the bad side of mother nature, so avoid the north side if possible. Front decks on most homes typically sacrifice privacy and are more subject to increased noise levels. However, front decks can often accentuate the front of a home, and can give an otherwise non-descript home front a deeper look. Back decks are the most common, because they offer more privacy and are often located closer to other amenities, such as outdoor fireplaces, etc. There is no right answer as to where a deck should be located, but it is important to consider all factors.
Second, what will be the primary function of your deck? How often do you plan to use your deck? If your deck is primarily for parties, you will want to consider access issues. Do you have a brick walkway to the deck? Do people have to trample your lawn or venture through your home to access it? Does your deck maximize its space by incorporating bench-rail seating? Is there a designated hot tub or cooking area on your deck?
Third, do you want a basic one-level deck? Or is the landscape such that a multi-level deck blends well into a sloping landscape? A deck is like a great hat — it completes. I often wonder why more people do not have a spiral stairway as a second deck entry where the landscape allows. If you are going to hold a lot of parties, plan a deck for performance and enhancement.
Fourth, plan some great amenities for your deck. Railing systems, rail seating, picture-framed decking, outdoor stone kitchen area, privacy walls and skirting are all things to consider. Work out size, location and style with your contractor before building- it is time well spent.
Kaile Warren has been an industry resource for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Redbook etc. Kaile is also an accomplished public speaker related to business matters. If you have a small business or business branding issue for Kaile write us at columnist@TheWindhamEagle.com