Things To Consider When Planning A Deck

Posted 1 May 2013 10:25 AM by Universal Forest Products

Deckorators Scenic Frontier Glass Balusters

Now that warmer temperatures are taking hold, people are heading to their favorite outdoor spots, like the deck. Once primarily used for sunbathing, decks have grown into outdoor living spaces to work, relax, cook, dine and entertain -- day or night. And deck options have grown with them. Here are a few basics any deck planner should consider:

Decking materials — Wood, composite or plastic? It’s perhaps the most important - and most difficult -- choice to make because cost, durability and maintenance needs can vary significantly. Wood can be the most affordable or the most expensive option, depending on the species. Composites and plastics can be easier to maintain.

Here's a simple overview of how a few popular decking materials stack up.


 

Pressure-treated wood   

Redwood or Cedar   

Tropical hardwoods  

Composite / Plastic   

Cost

Least expensive

Expensive

Most expensive

Low to medium cost

Maintenance 

Periodic cleaning

Periodic cleaning

Periodic cleaning

Periodic cleaning

Refinishing

Every 2-3 years

Every 3-5 years

Periodic, depending on desired look  

None



Balusters — Tradition says wood decks get wood balusters and composite decks get composite balusters, but it doesn't need to be that way. Here are a few popular alternatives and reasons why mixing materials might be a better choice:

  • Glass — Have a great view? Use glass balusters for less-obstructed views while adding style and variety to decks.
  • Metal — Metal balusters provide deck owners with great color and style options that are durable and low-maintenance.

Preview a number of glass and metal balusters at the Deckorators® Design Gallery. The gallery includes other baluster treatments, such as mixing glass with metal, and baluster accessories.

Lighting and other accessories — Deck owners can enjoy their decks well into the evening by adding solar or low-voltage lighting to posts, railings and steps. With products like the Deckorators lighting line, lighting is more than functional; it adds stylish accents that can be enjoyed during the day. For example, Deckorators offers Tiffany-style lighted glass post caps, as well as non-lit choices such as post cap planters.

Building codes and zoning — Although most of the options described above should be permissible, check with the local building authority to see if there are restrictions and approvals to consider.

Visualize it! — To get a better sense of how various materials and accessories look and mix, try the Deckorators Deck Visualizer. They are simple online tools for creating a customized, virtual deck.

 

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