Things to think about when adding a deck or porch to your home.

by By Ann M. Bohlayer of Arundel Woodworks ( 26-Aug-2016 )

Things to think about when adding a deck or porch to your home.

A deck or porch adds a little something special to a home and increases its resale value should you choose to sell. Building a deck or porch is an ideal opportunity to give your home a comfy, inviting spot surrounded by nature where you and your family can rest and relax after a long day, but before you have the deck built, there are a few things that you should consider that will help you build a beautiful outdoor area.

Purpose

A well designed deck or porch is an expression of your lifestyle and an extension of your home. Its decorative details, size and style should match your taste and fit the purpose of your outdoor area. In addition to that, it should also complement the environment and connect to the natural elements of your home.

A deck or porch to enjoy outdoor family meals:
The deck or porch for this purpose should be built in such a way that the dining table fits comfortably and leaves enough space for movement.

A deck or porch to enjoy cocktail parties and barbecues:
Enough room should be left to act as the preparation station and servicing area. Built in perimeter seating should also be considered.

A deck to sit back and relax and take in the beautiful outdoors:
Most decks are built for this purpose; to serve as a place where you can enjoy the outdoor air as you read a book or just relax. Such a deck should have a zone for low tables, lounge chairs and a sunny or shady spot. A fire pit could also be added to warm the chilly nights and enjoy the starry lights.

Materials

Before building the deck, you should consider the best materials to use. The aesthetic aspect of the materials is not all that matters; their maintenance, affordability and durability are important details to take into consideration. The three most common decking materials are:

Hardwood Decking
Hardwood decking such as mahogany and pressure treated pine is the most common choices. It requires maintenance at least once in five years to protect from rot and prolong its life.

Composite Decking
This is a fairly new type  of decking material. The boards are a blend of plastic resin with wood fibres and they have a raised grain pattern that looks like wood. They are durable and require low maintenance. A major drawback of composite decking is that they lack strength and they are more expensive.

Design

The design and pattern of the deck is mainly determined by its location and budget. To avoid overspending when building a deck, you should have a set budget before you begin calling contractors.

How you intend to use the deck also determines its design as well as size. The number of people that will use the deck at any one time as well as the size of the hot tub, BBQ or patio furniture that it should accommodate will play a role in the design of the deck as well.

Finishing Touches

The right finishing details gives a deck its individuality. The furniture and the style of the home influence’s how the woodwork will be trimmed and which fixtures to use. Some of the finishing touches to consider are:

Riser Lights
This makes the stairs to the deck safe to climb especially when it is dark.

Solar post caps
These add unique character to the deck as well as lighting up your deck area when the sun goes down.

Post Base Trim
This is a beautiful way to hide the imperfect cuts and give the deck a better finished look.

Post Cap
This feature keeps water from getting to the end grain.

Lattice Skirt
This keeps critters out and hides the structure but allows ventilation.

 

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