Deck Design 101 Where Do I Start

Posted 15 March 2017 8:10 PM by Jase DeBoer

You've decided to add a new deck to your home. Great choice! The first step is to choose a few key design elements that will best suit your needs and taste. While the size of your house and yard — along with your budget — will influence your options, there are a lot of choices to be made during this important planning phase.

Standard or Custom Layout?
If you have a smaller backyard, a limited budget or prefer the minimalist approach to outdoor spaces, you'll likely choose a simple design. Square and rectangular decks are the most popular, and common dimensions include 12’x12’ and 16’x20’. Both are adequate for outdoor entertaining and relaxation, plus add square footage proportionally. Standard rectangle deck layouts are great DIY projects. 

Homeowners who want a more personalized design often opt for custom shapes, sizes and styles. Multiple levels can incorporate covered areas that are perfect for outdoor kitchens or grill corners. Hot tubs and water features, as well as subtle lighting accents that enhance the ambiance of the night, are popular additions to deluxe custom decks. 

Vista Ironwood decking with CXT Railing

Wood or Composite?
Deckorators products are backed by our industry-leading warranties. Our wood plastic composite (WPC) decking (Vista and Trailhead) is backed by our 25-year Structural, 25-year Stain & Fade and 25-year Limited Removal & Replacement Warranty, while our mineral-based composite (MBC) decking (Voyage, Vault and Frontier) is upheld with a 50-year Structural, 25-year Stain and Fade, 25-year Removal and Replacement Warranty

Regardless of the decking you choose, the dominant materials for the understructure is a ground- contact, pressure-treated lumber like ProWood®. Not only does pressure-treated lumber provide protection from water damage and termite infestation, but it offers a beautiful, natural look for decking and railing. Stain to your desired wood tone, or try a color-infused, treated lumber like ProWood DuraColor®

Decking Patterns and Colors
While the shape of your deck is a major consideration, another consideration should be the overall look of the decking colors and patterns. Go beyond one-color options and imagine more visually appealing multicolored patterns such as herringbone, hexagonal, V-shaped, sunburst or picture-framed. Even a basic- shaped deck can become something fabulous when the decking is installed in an interesting or unexpected pattern.

Vault Hickory with Mesquite decking picture framing

Don’t Forget …
Many spend a great deal of time researching the decking and leave railing for later in the process. However, after rugs, patio chairs and grills are added, the railing is often the most visible part of a deck (and the most important for safety). Modern or Cclassic? Black or white? Composite or aluminum? Choose the railing style and material that suits your needs best.

The Take-Away

When designing a deck, you have many choices to consider. Perhaps a basic deck shape will do, but an eye-catching water feature is a must for you. Maybe an elaborate, multi-level deck with an intricate, multicolored pattern is your dream. The key is to decide what meets your needs, suits your tastes, complements your home and enhances your quality of life. To start discovering and envisioning design options, visit Deckorators Deck Visualizer.