Jun 15, 2015 Featured, Outdoor Spaces


Decks are valuable assets to both residential and commercial properties.  Like all projects, they require thoughtful design and building planning to get the results you want.  Here are five helpful hints:


1.    Understand the Why

There are lots of reasons to build a deck such as entertaining, dining, a pool surround, privacy or gardening.    Deciding the primary purpose of the deck will help you determine what features you should include.  Additionally,  understanding the why will help you determine location and how you connect the deck to your indoor living space.  Do you want to provide better access to a scenic view?  Are you creating a private space and need privacy screening?  Do you want it close to the kitchen for dining purposes?  Do you want to maximize it as a green space so sun and shade considerations are important? Does it require a room if it is in a convenient, but hot location?


2.    Select the Right Materials

There are a variety of materials to select for your deck.  We love the natural wood look,  although recycled materials provide excellent options for people looking for greener alternatives. If you are selecting wood, there are numerous weather resistant woods that allow you to avoid preservatives.  Some of the more popular woods include redwood, cedar, cypress, teak and ipe.  Ipe has become a premier decking materials because of its beauty and durability.  It stands up well in harsh climates and resists insect damage, mold and decay.


3. Design Smart

The shape and size of your deck should complement a building’s architecture and coordinate with the surrounding landscape design.  The deck design should feel like a natural extension of the building. You do not want a deck that competes. Instead you want to treat the deck as a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. At its essence, a deck is a functional outdoor room that fits in with your indoor space.


4.  Light it Up

Just like its use in indoor spacing, lighting is a critical design element for decks.  It serves safety and aesthetic purposes.   You can create a beautiful ambiance and have a highly functional space by considering lighting such as recessed step lights, path lights, overhead lights, wall or post mounted lights, landscaping spotlights and outdoor kitchen lighting.  Selecting both the right fixtures and the right locations is vital when coming up with your lighting plan.



5.  Hide the Clutter

Decks can be clutter magnets.   Therefore, it’s important to make sure you design the right storage both on the deck and beneath it. Because water is often a problem,  outdoor storage needs to be watertight.  Additionally,  organization and use will help you determine whether you are building lift-top benches, storage closets or shelving to house garden tools, outdoor toys, patio cushions or outdoor furniture and accessories.


We would love to apply the principles of 21st Zen to help you create a deck that enhances all the senses and provides you with a serene place to enjoy life outdoors.  Please let us know if we can help.


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