We’re all dreaming of summer: warm weather, summer cookouts, green gardens and lawns. In the middle of all those dreams is a fantastic deck where you can relax and soak in the sun. Before you start planning your next summer cookout on your new deck, you have a few decisions to make.
Ask yourself, “what am I going to do on my new deck?” The answer can play a part in determining the size and design of the deck. For example, if you’re looking for a sunbathing hangout, the deck can be designed for sunning—even with all your friends. A large entertainment deck can be built with spaces ideal for a large hangout space and eating area.
How big is your dream deck? Sometimes there are size restraints from landscaping, lot boundaries, or buildings; ask a contractor how you can work with these limits (such as building around a large tree or incorporating awkward angles into your deck plan). Other times, you can choose a size that fits with your goal and budget.
The purpose, budget, and amount of maintenance you want to undertake all determines the type of material chosen for your dream deck. There are three types of decking material available:
– Pressure-treated wood. This wood is the most affordable and can be stained in a variety of colors. It’s long-lasting, but requires regular maintenance to preserve the look and durability.
– Cedar. Cedar is naturally rot-resistant and does not absorb water. This wood is the middle of the line, typically costing more than pressure-treated and less than composite. Cedar does need to be resealed and can be scratched because the wood is soft.
– Composite decking. Composite decking usually costs the most of any of the materials but does not require maintenance throughout the life of the wood. This decking material comes in a variety of designs and colors. Composite decking requires different hardware than traditional wood, but can be easily installed by a professional.
Obviously, the budget plays a huge part in the choice of materials, size, and design of your new deck. Decide on a budget that fits your project and your needs.