Tips for designing the perfect deck

When designing the perfect deck, there are many factors to consider ... photo by CC user JDoorjam  on wikimedia

Want to make this the year that you level up your underwhelming backyard? If this is your home improvement goal over the remainder of this year, the following tips for designing the perfect deck will help you transform it into the envy of the neighbourhood.

1) What will you use your outdoor space for?

Anybody can build a deck in their backyard, but building something that could be considered to be perfect will require you to take into consideration the needs and desires of your own, your family and close friends.

While most decks will have a space for a grill, if you plan on having a full-service kitchen out back, you’ll need to plan for plumbing, gas lines, and electrical. To run stereos, computers and other gadgets, you’ll need enough plug points (as well as covers that can protect from the elements when not in use) to accommodate everything and everybody.

Want a hot tub? You’ll need to carve out a specific spot in your backyard setup for it so that the necessary hardware will play nice with the existing electrical and water mains in your house and under the ground.

By starting with the end in mind, you’ll avoid a lot of headaches.

2) Make sure that the design will complement your existing home’s architectural style

When you look at beautiful decks in home improvement magazines, it’s all too easy to fall in love with certain setups. However, many of these designs may clash horribly with the existing makeup of your house, so it’s important to make sure that you amend the form of a type of deck that you want with the realities of how your home looks and is constructed.

In order to find pieces of lumber that will meet your design needs, see Softwood’s range of timber lengths and sizes, as chances are good that they will have pieces in stock that will mesh with your plans.

3) Create sample sketches and take them to a professional designer

Want to frustrate your contractor/architect to the point of having them tear their hair out of their scalp? It’s easy … just show up at their office without a sketch of how you want the construction project to proceed.

Without anything to refer to physically, the builders you’ll hire will have to guess at every stage of the process, which will lead to needless fiction between you and them. It doesn’t have to be an overly complicated blueprint with intricate, clean lines and arcane notations that you have no clue to replicate.

Just do a rough sketch on paper and explain clearly and concisely to your contractor what you want in each part of your outdoor space, and they’ll take care of the technical details.