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How to Create the Perfect Deck Plan

Oct 11, 2007
Have the family come together to discuss various ideas of what a perfect deck plan might be for everyone. Walk around the property and consider various locations for the deck. Backyards are often the popular choice but the side or even front yard may be a better choice to suit the needs of the family.

Determine the potential size of the deck. Where a larger deck might cut into the yard area, a smaller deck might be the better slection. However, if the yard is rarely used or lawn maintenance is a negative issue, then a larger deck will make life easier.

Consider what things are typically done by family members outdoors. Determine how the construction of a deck might make them more enjoyable. Brainstorm ideas of new ways to enjoy outdoor living as well.

Cooking outdoors is the most popular deck activity for the majority of people. Locate the grilling area as far away as possible from areas where children playing might pose a safety issue. Leave enough room for the chef and assitant cooks to gather around the barbecue to chat and burn meat together. It might be worthwhile to construct a complete cooking center with a small refrigerator, counter space and even cabinets. In cases where rain might affect the ritual of cooking outdoors, think about erecting an overhead shelter of some sort.

In the planning of a deck it is important to consider the placement and arrangement of outdoor furniture. An area could be set aside specifically for dining with a large table and chairs. A wide open deck might be preferred that would offer several strategically located areas that would encourage small groups of people to come together for buffet style dining and tasting wines.

Consider sticking with movable furniture instead of built-in benches and tables. Guests and family members are likely to prefer arranging their own seating and eating spaces.

Eating and entertaining on the deck after dark are considerations that make deck lighting an important issue. Motion sensing floodlights are great for providing security or lighting the way for home entry. However, it is extremely unappealing for outdoor dining ambiance. Low voltage lighting fixtures set into steps or posts provide a much more effective and subtle solution. Outdoor holiday lights or Japanese lanterns strung up on or around the deck strategically can do much to create a festive feeling or mood.

The movement of the sun during daytime hours will impact upon the location of the deck. Main entertaining areas will have to be kept away from the heat and the glare of the afternoon and setting sun. Attention will have to be paid to choosing the best places to sip a drink at night, read the newspaper early in the morning, work on a tan or enjoy an afternoon nap. Such decisions will affect the placement of overhead structures such as arbors and pergolas as well as hammocks and swinging chairs.

Privacy can be an important deck design issue. The size of the deck will partly determine the approach to be used. Low railings and benches or none at all open up a deck to the yard. Railings with closely spaced balusters, privacy screens and overhead structures can be used to provide a sense of enclosure.

Building a raised deck might put the family on display for all the neighborhood to see. However, by stepping the deck down, this problem will disappear. The alternative would be to construct a higher deck with fence-like structures bordering it. A strategically placed trellis can easily support attractive climbing and flowering plants that will work with the deck's railing system to provide all the privacy that is needed.

Constructing a multilevel deck is another alternative that will create areas that are separated but not walled off. In the process family members and guests can experience various measures of privacy.

The wraparound deck is another excellent choice to create a sense of privacy. Because of its design nature, one area will be separated from the other simply because each one is adjacent to a different side of the house.

One of the easiest methods to create privacy on a deck is by means of the strategic placement of plants around its perimeter. As bushes, shrubs and trees grow over the years, the snese of privacy and enclosure will heighten. Hedges can easily be planted in order to replace railings and achieve the same effects.

Orienting the deck in order to enjoy the best features within the yard is an extremely important decision. Where possible, plan and design the landscaping to complement the deck and enhance the total experience. The location of flowers, shrubs, climbing vines and trees are part of this. However, items such as bird feeders, trellises, fountains or other water features can enhance the measure of enjoyment immensely.

Creating the perfect deck plan should involve everyone in the family in some way and should reflect the lifestyle, tastes and desires of all concerned. In that way this new outdoor space will easily provide years of enjoyment for the whole family, guests and quite possibly any future owners.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Deck Design and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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