In order to properly design your deck you should ask yourself these questions.
What will I use the deck for? Will it be used for entertaining, eating, children playing, barbecuing, working/reading, sunning, pool parties?
- How often will it be used? Will it be used daily, primarily on weekends, or just for entertaining? This answer will help you to budget high priority items.
- How many will be using the deck? What is the size of your household? How big will the groups be that you entertain? This will help in determining the size.
- What features would I like to include? Do you want room for a patio table, a outdoor living room, a barbeque or outdoor kitchen, planters, lighting, speakers, built-in hot tub or pool, a screened-in area or gazebo? This will help in planning the layout.
- What material would I like to use? Pressure treated lumber, Cedar or other wood, composite decking, fiberglass, aluminum, vinyl or possibly steel. Do your research and then weigh the pros and cons of different material options relative to your climate, your budget, the design of your home and the level of maintenance you're comfortable with.
- What kind of railing would I like to have? Wood, composite, glass, vinyl, wrought iron, plastic lumber? Do you need privacy screening? There may be part of your view you want to keep and part that you would like to block.