This step is the easiest, take a tour of your neighborhood and see the different styles of decks that are built and how they attach to the house. Look at some home improvement magazines.
What do you like or dislike about them?
Things to look for:
- Is the deck railing built to the deck or is it a custom deck railing system?
- Where are the deck stairs positioned in relation to the house?
- Do the decks have deck lighting on the railing, posts or step lights?
- What type of material is the deck constructed of, cedar, redwood, composite decking material, or a combination of materials
- Is the platform attached to the house or is it a freestanding platform?
In this step, you will determine how you will use your new deck.
Will you be using it for entertaining, weekend cookouts, or just relaxing after a hard day’s work?
Once you have determined the main use of your deck, you can calculate the size to build your new deck.
An easy way to do this is to cut out some cardboard cutouts (chairs, tables, grills, storage benches, planters, etc.) and place them where you plan to build your deck. This will give you a good idea of how big your deck will be. You can then modify the size and shape according to your needs.
Now that you’ve decided where to put your new deck and what size deck you’re going to build, you need to decide what type of lumber and deck material you’re going to use.
Here are some of the most common decking timbers:
- Treated green pine, usually the least expensive and can be stained.
- Cedar, an excellent choice, is long lasting and will change to a light gray over time. Cedar can also be stained or treated to protect the wood over time.
- Redwood, another great option for your deck, also resists a light gray and can also be stained or treated to make the wood last longer and improve appearance.
- Composite Decking There are quite a few different types and styles of composite decking materials you can choose from. Just search for a Google Composite Platform and look at all your options.
Composites claim to fame is that they are low maintenance, not maintenance free.
You will still need to pressure wash the deck and preserve it, but it will remove the stains you would have on a wood deck.
Now is the time to decide if you are going to add some form of deck lighting to your deck. You can choose from many different styles to suit your decor. You can add low voltage deck lighting to the post caps, deck railing, deck steps and you can also add recessed deck floor lighting to really set your deck apart.
This step is optional, but it’s one I use. It is the use of cover design software. the software package is easy to use and will allow you to view your deck in 3D.
The programs are a simple drag and drop interface that will allow you to view your deck in various sizes and styles, plus some will allow you to calculate your deck package and give you a rough cost estimate.