When building or remodeling, there are many different deck designs to choose from. The first consideration should be the space that the deck is going in. Is this a comfortable, cozy space or is it wide and expansive with long-range views? The character of the space and also of the home will determine how to best design the deck to fit. This should always be the number one consideration and, like with any other kind of design, a well-designed deck begins with planning. Consider hiring a design professional before starting your project to be sure you have all the bases covered.
A deck is generally any structure that is not enclosed underneath. Here are some basic deck types:
- Free Standing Deck
- Attached Deck
- Covered Porch
- Screened Porch
- All-Season Exterior Room
Each of these different deck designs is a tool in the arsenal of the planner. Deciding on the basic deck style will determine a lot of other details. One option, shown here, of a Covered Porch deck design uses timber framing with exposed rafters and tongue in groove wood ceilings. This style is a perfect match for Mountain Laurel Handrails.
There are many different species of wood that can be used for the framing, decking, and wood trim of a deck. The deck framing is the boards that make the actual structure of the deck. The most common lumber for this is pressure treated lumber. The chemical preservative in pressure treated lumber means that it will outlast other common wood framing materials. It is extremely rare to find another type of wood being used for deck framing. Steel framing is the ultimate option for the homeowner who is concerned about strength, style and durability.
The decking are the boards that you actually walk on when you are on a deck. Again, pressure treated lumber is the most commonly employed choice here do to material cost and availability, ease of installation and consumer familiarity. There are other decking materials that are gaining in popularity and the main of of these is composite lumber. Companies like TimberTech and Trex are making composite decking. The basic process for making this product involves mixing a post-industry wood byproduct with a plastic epoxy resin, basically sawdust and glue. While the first few iterations of this product may have had some flaws, composite decking is definitely come of age with a product that is strong, durable and easy to maintain.
A covered deck is commonly called a porch and adds a level of usefulness to your outdoor room. Now the space can be enjoyed even when it’s raining and many porches are used to cover the entry door to a home so that the owner doesn’t have to stand in the rain while trying to get in. Porches are commonly framed with some type of post and beam structure but adding exposed timber rafters or purlins makes a strong decorating statement. One challenge can be getting wood species and stains to match but generally a skilled painter will be able to conquer this obstacle.
Another element to consider in deck design is the stairs. Some deck stairs are short while other decks may be quite elevated off of the ground, so here again, the space and the land influence the design and planning. Regardless of height and length, stairs are often times the most prominent visual element either interior or exterior. Deck stairs are especially important during the summer time as more recreation takes place in the backyard.
Learning all the different deck designs is a first step on the road to planning your deck project. Contact for more info on deck railing design.