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Planning Your Decks

Jul 7, 2008
There's nothing quite as versatile as a deck. You can add out door living space adjacent to any floor of your house, over slopes and ravines, nestled in the trees, or right at ground level. A deck can make the most of views, summer breezes and winter sunshine. Like paving decks and boardwalks form the floors of outdoor rooms and passageways. But unlike paving, decks give you the option of building above ground and grading is rarely necessary.

Finding Location

Access, comfort and privacy are all important factors in deck design. If you have trouble getting to your deck, you'll rarely use it. Your decks destination, study the best ways to access it. A deck can be a natural extension of the house. sliding glass doors left open to the deck will extend the indoor space to the outside. If you use a grill on your deck, and entry close to the kitchen makes the whole process easier. In addition to having good access, you should feel comfortable on your deck.

If you feel that you are on display to the neighbourhood of the location of the deck is too hot or cold, you won't enjoy it much. If another space in the landscape isn't optimal for easy deck access, you may need new planting for increase privacy or shade. A wall of latticework or a deck umbrella can make all the difference and shield you both from view and the hot sun. Double check your concept diagram for the optimum location and make any planting or other adjustments necessary to make your deck a comfortable place.

Consider how you will use your deck. Make sure the shape and size shown on your master plan meets your needs. A small, cozy deck can be perfect for an intimate spot just off the master bedroom, a place for outdoor entertaining may require more room. Both the size and the location of the deck should reflect your lifestyle so you'll use the deck to its fullest.

Features and costs

Storage is a valuable feature. A deck beside a kitchen garden may include storage for garden tools and harvest baskets, a deck that doubles as a landing for the front or back door is an ideal spot for hooks and shelves. Built-in benches and planters make a deck more useful and result in a few less things to store a shed.

Think about what kind of handy features you can add to increase the use and enjoyment of your deck even further. You can plant for added features such as lighting, overhead fans, exterior outlets, and outdoor cook tops and sinks in the beginning of the process, even if they are added later. Its often a good idea to add a focal point in the yard that aligns with the main view from the deck, mark this spot on your master plan. Strategically placed decorative benches, sundials, or bird feeders enhance the view. A view of a fountain or other water feature can also be a lovely addition to a relaxing afternoon on the deck.

Generally decks are one of the most affordable hardscape options. Redwood, cedar and pressure treated pine are usual materials, check with local suppliers to see which is the best value in your region. You can build a deck yourself or hire a carpenter to do the work for you. It may pay to have a carpenter handle more elaborate decks, but if it's a straightforward design, there's a good chance you can do it your self
About the Author
Alexie is a experienced landscaper and would to share landscaping tips,Landscape ideas and guides on how to make your front yards and backyards beautiful and putting your ideas into plan.To Learn more about Landscaping ideas visit landscapingway.com and read our articles about landscaping.
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