With decades of deck design and construction experience we have learned many ways to help make your deck work the best and also fit your budget. After all the home is your biggest investment so we want to make sure you get it right. Our team here at Mid Atlantic Deck and Fence is here to help you make the best decisions possible from start to finish. One of the first things to consider is yard and deck orientation.
The direction the back of your home faces is largely important in determining how much sun and shade the deck will receive throughout the day. An east facing deck is the most functional and simplest to design, because it gets morning sun and late afternoon shade which makes for a long day of enjoyment. A south facing deck will have sun all day so a few things to consider in this case would be some kind of shade option like a roof or a pergola with some retractable awning sections would be especially beneficial in the late afternoon. A west facing deck will only get sun in the afternoon which can be tricky in the spring and fall because the time spent might be a little limited. North facing decks are even more tricky because they won’t get much sun all day especially in winter. Not for everyone though! Some people will enjoy the all-day shade. Another thing to consider are traffic patterns.
It is important to consider how you will be entering and exiting your deck as well as how you will navigate around the deck and what features you will have on your deck. You want to make sure your dining set, grill, firepit, etc., isn’t going to affect the stair traffic and or the traffic from the house to the deck.
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You will want to think about how the deck will be used, for dining? Plan for about 120-140 square feet (12×12) for the table, the chairs and space that will be needed to accompany the table. This space is going to be considered your primary space so a nice touch would be to maybe elevate this area or maybe change the direction of the decking to accent this area. Also, consider the proximity of the dining area to the kitchen inside the home or an outdoor kitchen if equipped. An outdoor kitchen or grill is always a great addition to a deck but placement of those items is also crucial. Your immediate thought might be that you will want them close by your dining area but we feel that a “fair” amount of space between them is best. This is because you don’t want t subject your guests to any smoke or smells blowing in the breeze while your guests are enjoying any appetizers or drinks before the main course. A grill can also be placed in a “nook” or a “bay” for storage to keep it out of the way when not in use. Play areas are also common, some clients will want their children to be able to play on the deck and that might include small play sets, games and other activities. Games and play areas aren’t just for children either some clients like to use their deck for adult games like cornhole or darts. Some decks will include a hot tub which would call for special framing for a more solid structure and would need to be planned for in advance but with a hot tub you also might want to consider some privacy options as well. If your home is located close to your neighbor’s house or if the deck is off a master bedroom a few privacy sections might be helpful and also add to the overall aesthetics!
Other options to consider would be maybe adding some sort of water diversion system to create a dry space under the deck for those rainy days or you could even use it for a storage area to store lawn equipment or even furniture when not in use. Of course, you could also add a roof and a screens to the deck if planned in advance to create an all out screen porch which wouldn’t require the need for any water diversion under the deck.
Railings are definitely going to be a large part of the design and can be made from anything such as traditional pressure treated pine to vinyl, iron,aluminum or steel. Your estimator can show you what your different options are in this category during the design stage. What you are going to use for the actual decking itself is also going to play a large role in your project there are many different options to choose from and we, at Mid Atlantic have narrowed down what we think are the best options available based on warranties and how well claims are handled and also our many years of experience working with these products and feedback from our clients. We choose only the best whether it’s the premium grade pressure treated lumber we use, exotic hardwoods or composite/plastic options. You will not have to worry about the quality of durability of any of the options we offer because we wouldn’t offer any products to you if we didn’t have confidence in them ourselves.
Finally we will talk about budget, obviously this is going to play a large part in the design so allow our estimators to walk you through what the features will cost and also what compromises in size, features and materials can be made to help you stay within the budget that you and your family have in mind for the project. The best way to do this is to start a “wish list” so that our estimators can help guide you from there as to what materials, styles and options will cost as options so you can piece together the deck of your dreams as easily as possible. Once again, a deck project can be a substantial investment and we want to help you get it right the first time. Something also to keep in mind, I bigger deck isn’t always he best solution even with an unlimited budget. An intelligent aesthetically pleasing design can give you more bang for your buck if done correctly.
We hope this introduction has helped spark the creative flow now be sure to check out wealth of other information we have provided in the deck tabs above, they will describe some of the options we discussed above in greater detail and hopefully help you further along on your journey to build the perfect deck for you and your family. Do not hesitate to ask your estimator about anything you see even outside of our website we can do almost anything you might want!