(Family Features) - When it comes to improving outdoor living spaces, decks are a popular choice. If you're thinking about adding a new deck, or even replacing or resurfacing an old deck, there are a lot of things to consider before you get started. These tips from the experts at Fiberon will help you design the right deck for your needs.
Determine Deck Use. Think through all the ways you'll be using your deck.
- Will you entertain frequently? If so, how many people will you need space for?
- What kind of seating will you need - patio furniture or built-in benches?
- Will you need lighting to entertain at night?
Choose Deck Location. For most people, the size and orientation of your house and property limit possible deck locations to one or two areas. Within those areas, think about things like:
- Climate - If your area gets hot, humid summers, putting a deck in a southern or western location might make it a hot spot you'll end up avoiding. Is it windy where you live? Then think about putting the deck where it will get some protection from the house or a screen of trees.
- Privacy - Careful placement of your deck can eliminate unwanted views, minimize traffic noise and give you additional privacy.
Select Deck Materials. Here are some questions to consider when choosing deck materials:
- What's your budget? When calculating costs, decide the amenities and features you want such as an arbor, fire pit, multiple deck levels, and type of railing.
- How much maintenance are you willing to do? Treated lumber is a common choice for decks. While wood has its advantages, maintenance can become a chore that adds up in terms of time and money. Composite decking is a lower maintenance option that more and more homeowners are choosing.
When it comes to the design stage of the process, a new online tool can make it very easy. Fiberon, one of the leading manufacturers of composite decking, railing and fencing and PVC outdoor flooring, offers a Deck Design tool that allows you to select the shape and size of your deck, including the number of levels, stairs, railings - even board widths and footings in addition to choosing from various colors and styles. Once your design is complete, you can print out your deck plans in full color, including a 3-D rendering and a complete materials list.
The addition of a deck is a great way to increase your outdoor living space and add value to your home. Asking the right questions and using the right tools will help you create a deck design that's truly divine.