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Using Deck Design in Landscape Design

Last month we talked about the importance of Using Patio Furniture in Landscape Design.

This month we will continue creating the perfect patio and yard area by talking about the importance of choosing the correct deck design and decking materials to match your home and garden.

Decks have become so important as they relate to outdoor living, and in working with different types and styles of decks, you'll find that the design options are endless.

For this article though we're going to keep it simple and go over 8 key tips and ideas so you can create the perfect deck for your backyard, pool or hot tub.

1. Choose an Appropriate Design

Curved vs. Straight

Choosing to build a straight or curved deck will depend upon your budget. A curved deck may look better and add some design and interest where a straight deck does not, but which design will suite your yard better?

A curved design does not use space very efficiently, but it gives a great appearance! Plus, if it is installed properly it can look very organic and natural as though it is part of the yard and not an addition.

2. Choose an Appropriate Style

Is your home more formal or is it more relaxed? Do you want something simple or more elaborate in detail?

These are questions to ask yourself when you sit down to work out your design. Formal decks usually have much more detailing such as posts, columns, crown moldings, lattice, and custom paint colors, etc.

But if you're more relaxed, a simple design of wood, vinyl, or composite material matched with a straightforwad railing of wood or glass might be just enough.

3. Materials, Surfaces, and Finishes

Before you ever even pick up a hammer, make sure you have gone over all your available choices for materials, surfaces and finishes. There are many of them out there and you'll want to incorporate the best ones suited to your budget and your living space.

4. Decks and Privacy

When you are building your deck, you may want to consider adding a privacy screen, but not at the expense of losing your view or shutting yourself in!

If your house is near a roadway, or your neighbors are very close you may want to opt for a sold privacy screen. But if you just want a bit privacy from the rest of the yard or house, you may want to consider see-through materials such as lath or plants to create a screen, but not a prison.

5. Pool Deck Design Tips

There are two things that will help you make your choices about a pool deck: (1) your budget and (2) materials.

Materials can be concrete, wood, brick, composite, tile, and stone - but concrete, wood, and materials like Trex are the least expensive and of similar pricing so they tend to be what people choose first.

Tile is a bit more expensive, but not good in cold-weather climates and stone can be very expensive depending upon what type of stone you choose and how it's installed.

If you choose wood, there are inexpensive additives you can put in the stain to give a non-slip surface that should be considered.

6. Decks and Hot Tubs

If you have a built-in hot tub, many people want a nice deck around it. Some considerations in placement: don't place your hot tub where you are highly visible to the neighbors, or a roadway.

Also try and keep your hot tub close to the house so you can get to it easily and quickly.

Most decks are built level with the hot tub, but some other things to think about are adding benches surrounded by a privacy screen so you create you own oasis in the back yard.

7. Think About Maintenance

Whatever you end up choosing is going to have to be maintained. Even if a material is labeled "maintenance-free" it still is going to need looking after.

There are materials out there like Trex that are much lower in maitenance than wood, but even tile or stone will need yearly upkeep. Make sure to plan that into your budget!

8. Take Your Time

Lastly - don't be in a rush! When decks are built properly they not only look fantastic, and add value to your property, but they will last a long, long time. So take your time in the planning and designing phase and only move forward when you're good and ready!

Most of all enjoy your end product because nothing says "summer" quite like sitting out on the deck!


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