While it is exciting to think about a new addition to your home, there are several important elements to consider when building a deck. This includes figuring out the nitty-gritty details of the design, practicality, and the amount of money you’ll have to spend on completing the construction for the deck. But that’s not it!
Before you start building the deck, make sure you have enough knowledge to make completely informed decisions as to which deck materials you should be using.
Some design features are easy to overlook.I If you are thinking about adding a deck to your house, starting the design process by looking through some deck-building tips will help you avoid costly mistakes. It does not matter how elegant your deck turns out at the end; if you don’t use the right deck materials, your hard work will go to waste. The decking materials you select are both the most critical design decision and a substantial factor in the final cost of your deck.
The Different Types of Deck Materials
A well-designed deck may become the new favorite feature of your home since it adds both aesthetics and functionality, whether you need an outdoor space for your kids to play or simply to hang out with friends. A big deck is ideal for anybody looking to expand their outside living space while enhancing their home’s value.
A deck should be spacious enough not just to accommodate more guests, but also for necessary fixtures and accessories for outdoor entertainment. Let’s take a look at the different deck materials options available in the market for you to choose from.
Composite Decking Material
Composite decking boards and related synthetics are quite popular among many homeowners looking to build long-lasting decks. They are made of recycled polymers and wood fibers, are pest and rot-resistant, and will not warp or splinter.
Composite and other synthetic decking materials have the advantage of being nearly maintenance-free. Thanks to improved manufacturing processes, composite decking materials now look and feel like real wood. Composite deck boards are frequently pressed with a pattern or wood grain and come in a wide range of colors and textures.
· Why Should We Choose Composite Decks?
Composite decking is low-maintenance and slip-resistant since there is no need to weather-proof or paint it. The planks are made of half recycled polyethylene plastic and half wood fibers, such as sawdust.
· Why Not to Choose Composite Decking Material
Durability comes at a cost with composite decking, which makes it more expensive than natural wood. It is possible that composite material will cost 15% to 20% more than pressure-treated wood. Composites are not the same as natural wood; no matter how much manufacturers try to replicate the texture and look. The only way to truly appreciate a wood deck’s beauty is to use it.
Given a large number of composite manufacturers available, it is critical to compare prices and inquire about durability. Many composites now come with staining and fading warranties, so make sure you check whether the material you chose has one.
Cedar Wood Decking Material
For those who prefer natural wood, cedar is an obvious option out of all the other deck materials. Cedar decking is readily available, lightweight, and durable, and it makes a beautiful deck. Although the wood’s tannins and natural oils protect it from decay and insects, staining and sealing prevent cracks and splinters. If not preserved, cedar and redwood will eventually fade to a light gray color.
· Why Should We Choose Cedar for Our Decks?
Cedar has been used for decking and home construction for a long time. It is a hardwood that resists rot, decay, insect infestations, and moisture absorption. These features allow the wood to last longer, require less maintenance, and prevent warping or splitting that are often common in other deck materials.
A cedar deck can last for a couple of decades or more, depending on care and the climate of the area they’re built in. Cedar is a relatively beautiful and more attractive wood with strong color tones. You can further enhance its beauty by sanding, staining, and treating the wood for a beautiful finish.
· Why Not to Choose Cedar for Decking Material?
Since cedar is a softer wood, it is more susceptible to dents and nicks. Regular staining or sealing of cedar is recommended to prevent some damage. While you can choose to leave your cedar wood deck natural and unfinished, you will have to seal it every few years.
Although cedar may last a long period in the correct conditions and with proper maintenance, it tends to degrade more quickly when used for ground-level decks. On the other hand, shaded cedar will gradually dry out. These difficulties can be resolved with simple maintenance and re-sealing.
Aluminum Decking Material
Prefinished aluminum decking is sturdy, waterproof, and resistant to rot, corrosion, and insects. The boards of decking are light and simple to cut with appropriate saw blades. The thick, slip-resistant coating on the extruded aluminum planks is available in a variety of colors and requires no maintenance. To connect the decking to the substructure of your deck, you will need special fasteners.
In addition to being water-resistant, aluminum deck manufacturers have created designs that provide a watertight area beneath the deck. Creating a waterproof aluminum decking surface with interlocking systems that allow no gaps and water-draining channels can provide additional storage or open space.
· Why Should We Choose Aluminum for Decking Material?
Aluminum decking is the most costly deck material, but it will last the longest, with a thirty-year lifespan. When constructed properly by an experienced contractor, steel decking may last up to sixty years. Aluminum decking planks are available in a variety of sizes. In addition to aluminum decking designed to create a dry zone beneath the main structure, you can also choose a conventional array of aluminum decking boards that maintain the traditional space between each board, allowing water to pass=. This can reduce the overall cost of your project while also allowing you to construct a waterproof drainage system afterwards.
Metal does require a basic maintenance cycle of periodical desalting and touch-ups with a protective coating regularly. Because aluminum decking is hollow and does not hold heat but distributes it, it may take less time to attain a comfortable temperature underfoot.
· Why Not to Choose Aluminum for Decks?
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, wood and composite decking that mimics the look of wood but does not require as much maintenance is often preferred over aluminum. Aluminum deck materials may generate a reverberating and annoying sound upon impact. However, aluminum decking has a linear aspect that may appeal to you depending on the style you want to achieve.
Pressure-Treated Wood for Decking Material
Pressure-treated wood is still the most popular option for building decks, accounting for more than 75% of all new decks. People are drawn to the wood because it has been chemically treated to withstand rot, mildew, and insects. It is also more affordable and can be found almost everywhere, and it is easy to put together.
- Why Should We Choose P-T Wood for Decks?
Pressure-treated wood is the most common decking material since it is natural, durable, easy to install, and comfortable to walk on. However, it needs to be cleaned once a year and is susceptible to rot, splintering, and warping. Even though all wood ages elegantly, it should be cleaned and re-stained every two to three years to keep it looking good.
This low-cost hardwood decking is mostly made of pine and is readily available. With an average lifespan of fifteen years and the ability to last decades with proper maintenance, it is the most cost-effective and least expensive decking materials.
- Why Not to Choose P-T Wood for Decks?
This style of decking tends to crack or deform with time, necessitating routine repair. Previously, pressure-treated wood was cured with chromate copper arsenate, a carcinogen. It is now safer to use in the home since it has been treated with less dangerous chemicals.
Some Tips to Design a Common Size Deck on a Budget
Everyone enjoys spending time on their own deck, whether on a hot summer day, a crisp autumn evening, or even on a frigid winter day. Whatever the weather, there always seems to be a time when it is exactly right to rest outside.
While designing and developing an ideal outdoor environment may seem difficult and costly at first, it is actually pretty easy. So, let’s take a look at how we can reduce the cost while building our common size deck:
Make Sure to Choose the Material Wisely
The most cost-effective decks are built of pressure-treated wood, often known as chemical-treated wood. In terms of immediate savings, it looks to be a terrific deal, but do not overlook the long-term consequences. Wood decks require regular maintenance, such as staining or painting. If left unattended for a long time, they may swiftly degrade.
Although treated wood is still the most common deck building material for deck structures, composite materials may save you time and money over time. Although composite decking, also known as PVC decking, first looks more expensive, the money saved on annual stain and cleaning expenditures will eventually equal out.
Schedule the Construction at Hand
The best time to build a deck is during the summer. From May through August, a simple walk around your area might indicate just how busy your community’s tradespeople are. However, installing a deck during the off-season could save you a lot of money.
Local deck builders frequently have fewer projects competing for their time throughout the winter months of November to December and March to April. Before the winter months begin, contractors may offer lower pricing to attract more business. Furthermore, scheduling will be much simpler, resulting in a more delightful overall experience.
Do Not Over-Complicate the Design
If you go through numerous deck designs and floor plans online, you will see a lot of large and sophisticated outdoor spaces. Although lovely, these unique and different deck or patio designs may be rather costly. The best approach to keep your deck building costs low is to stick to the necessities.
You may save money on materials and installation time by removing curves, bends, and other complicated design aspects. You can save the most by reducing the total size of the deck. Organize your deck design around typical lumber lengths to save money and waste. Consider employing concrete deck footings for a small structure. Maintain a basic overall deck form; rectangles are the most straightforward to plan and build.
Observe Your Deck in Proper Lighting
If you want to enjoy some deck lights in your family home’s outdoor space, make sure you prepare beforehand. LED deck lighting is now reasonably priced and simple to install, albeit it is more difficult to do so on a fully completed deck.
Tucking low-voltage cables between posts and railings beneath the deck and other locations is a terrific option for deck lighting. It is much easier to install the deck railing when you’re attaching and concealing the deck light wiring. The same may be true with LED stair lighting, which requires holes to be drilled in the riser boards or treads.
Turn it Into a DIY Project
According to many homeowners and deck designers, the peace of mind that comes with hiring a professional deck builder is worth it. Professional contractors will quickly develop a beautiful area for you to enjoy. However, if you are handy with a saw or have knowledgeable friends who can help, building the deck yourself will save you money.
With resources available online, DIY deck builders may actually prefer planning, constructing, and building their own deck space. If time is not an issue, we recommend trying your hand at deck construction. It may appear intimidating at first, but the satisfaction of knowing you created a meeting spot for your family will last you a lifetime.
How to Come Up with a Dreamy Design for Your Deck?
Decks are a place for reflection and pleasure, whether they are constructed around an in-ground pool or as an expansion of a porch. However, the architectural options may be overwhelming. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind for your deck to turn out as dreamy as you want:
It will be much simpler to answer questions about the design after you’ve planned and decided on a budget. Your budget influences every decision you make, from the material you pick to the intricacy of the deck.
Installing rails, built-in chairs, deck lighting, or choosing a stunning pattern for your decking planks, such as herringbone or geometric inlay, are all examples of this. The size of your deck, as well as whether you employ a contractor or build it yourself, will be determined by your budget.
In conclusion, establishing your budget as early as possible during the design process is a wise decision. To obtain an idea of what your budget should be, use an online cost calculator to get a quote for your material expenses.
The most important factor in deck location is the size of the house. If you have several feasible placement options, though, you will need to evaluate several factors. The first things to consider are the size of the space, the deck’s accessibility to multiple entrances of your home, privacy alternatives, and the view.
The weather is the second consideration. The amount of rain/snow common in your region as well as the availability or lack of shade are aspects to consider.
Deck design involves several intertwined factors. For example, deciding on the size and style of your deck entails striking a compromise between money and location. Even if you have an unlimited budget, your yard should be at least twice as large as your deck for optimal visual proportions.
Since even the most architecturally gorgeous deck might look out of place in the incorrect spot, the design should complement the rest of your home’s exterior. It is often easier to balance these sorts of interrelated pieces with the help of resources like expert deck designers.
If you are remodeling or adding a structure to a house, whether you are doing it yourself or paying someone to do it, it is essential to be aware of permits and other legal requirements you’ll need to fulfill. Conducting this research before purchasing products may save you a lot of time and money.
Building regulations, permits, and other conditions vary by place. Blueprints, on the other hand, need local government approval. So, make sure you have all this taken care of before you jump into the construction of your deck.
Decks with built-in bench seating, outdoor bars, outdoor kitchens with BBQ spaces, and even fire-resistant places for a built-in fire pit are popular with families. Your family’s new outdoor living space might be located in the same area of the yard that used to require frequent mowing, weeding, and raking.
How to Make the Most Out of Your Deck?
Once you pick out the right deck materials, it is very important to know what kind of usage the material will support. You can use the following tips based on the deck building materials you choose:
Use a Protective Cover
This deck provides the best of both worlds in terms of outdoor eating and gardening, thanks to the partial shade provided by the pergola. A white pergola above certain decks creates a modern design that contrasts with the flora while blending in with the house’s façade. It is the perfect setting for a floral arrangement or al fresco dining.
Use Plants as Hangings
If you do not have much space, load it with the coziest things you can find and utilize the extra vertical space to hang plants rather than taking up valuable ground space. Some decks that feature hanging plants, soft blankets, and layered outdoor rugs are the ideal places to unwind with a cup of coffee and some interesting new book or your favorite person to talk to.
A Multi-Level Deck is All the Buzz
Even though a green spiral staircase steals the show, the multi-level deck design is the real show-stopper for this outdoor retreat.
So, Does a Dream Deck Seem Achievable Now?
How many people you need to accommodate, how you intend to use it, and the size of your outdoor equipment, such as a grill, hot tub, patio furniture, and any outdoor kitchen appliances, all influence the size of your deck. Take into consideration the proportion and architecture of your home while deciding on the best size deck for your yard.
A deck may offer you a relaxing outdoor refuge, an inviting location to entertain guests, or a combination of the two. Keeping in mind the type of space you want to create may help you balance the aesthetic and functional aspects of designing your ideal deck.
The Final Word
Installing a deck on your property will quickly raise its value while also providing additional living space for private gatherings and entertaining. Adding a deck to your patio is also an aesthetically pleasing solution for improving the curb appeal of your house to become appealing.
Decks and patios are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while also using the backyard and lowering landscaping maintenance expenses. The first step in personalizing the space to match your needs is to assess the area or location, planned usefulness, and financial budget. Nowadays, there is a variety of deck materials to pick from, each of which will best suit a person’s wants and goals.