Kicking back with a cold drink and soaking up the sunshine from the comfort of a lounge chair — yes, it’s deck season once again!
But before you’re able to log some serious deck-time, stop and consider the state of your backyard oasis. Has that brutal winter done a number on it — fading the paint or stain, or loosening up the boards? Or maybe it’s time to build a brand-new deck, and design a space that better suits your needs?
When you’re planning a deck build, the first thing to consider is how large you’d like it to be. In the past, a deck was a simple wooden rectangle that housed a BBQ and a couple of chairs — maybe a table, if you had the room. But today’s decks are truly becoming outdoor living spaces.
Many homeowners like having a dedicated area for the BBQ, a generous spot for a table and chairs, and another area for lounging — whether that’s a spot to sunbathe in a lounger, or an outdoor sofa/love seat set-up where you can entertain friends. Outdoor furniture may look small in the store, but make sure you plan the deck to be large enough to accommodate it — with room to move around comfortably.
Think about how the deck will look in relation to your home, and if you’ll want to build something multi-tiered in order to gain access from multiple levels. Sliding doors or French doors that open directly into the kitchen are handy for BBQing and entertaining, but it’s also nice to have the deck connect to a living space on the lower level. Remember that an above-grade deck will need to be inspected and certified — during the planning stages, mid-way through construction, and once the project is completed.
There so many ways to personalize a deck and make it exactly what your family wants. If you have young children, you may want to build a gate at the top of the deck’s stairs — or you may love the look of a wide, breezy staircase that leads down onto the lawn. What about built-in benches or planters? Do you like the look of crisp white aluminium railings, or a custom curved wooden railing with beautiful details?
When it’s time to choose materials, you’ll see a lot of different options at your local TIMBER MART. Wood continues to be the most popular choice for decking, with customers opting for beautiful varieties of cedar or pressure-treated pine — which can be stained, painted, or sealed to suit their preference. But others prefer to the new manufactured decking products, like wood-plastic composite or capped composite — which come in a variety of colours, and are built to withstand colour-fading, mold, mildew, and expansion.
Today’s decks are a way to extend our home into the great outdoors, and that’s why homeowners enjoy infusing them with their personal style. Outdoor lighting, furniture, and accessories can be selected to mimic the feel inside your home, and outdoor cushions come in every imaginable style and colour. Outdoor speakers and fans can add comfort and luxury to your deck, and you can even screen in the space to keep the bugs out.
We love working with homeowners on deck-builds, because it makes us feel good knowing they’ll get to enjoy the fresh air in their brand-new outdoor living space.