How to Plan for an Outdoor Deck

Outdoor deck and patio ideas are an excellent spring project to prepare for the summer months ahead.

Just imagine being able to come home from work, grab a tall glass of something refreshing, and walk out on your backyard deck to simply take in the view.

With all of things that fill our days, computers, electronic gadgets, TV shows, and smartphones, to name a few, it’s nice to create a space where you can truly focus on the stillness and natural beauty that surrounds you.

An outdoor deck can easily become a convenient escape that adds a bit of tranquility to your otherwise busy life.

Plus, what if I told you it’s not as far away of a dream as you may think; and may even be cheaper than you might have anticipated.

You never know, once you build it, you’ll wonder how you ever went without one for so long.

In fact, let’s explore a few different options for an outdoor living space.

How to Plan for an Outdoor Deck

Decks, as well as patios, add extra value to your home. Thus, besides the pleasure you’ll gain from using the space, you will also profit by adding more monetary worth to your house.

build an outdoor deck

Before you decide to fully tackle this job, you need to sit down and plan it out. Gather outdoor deck ideas by searching the internet, driving around your neighborhood, or simply envisioning the space you want.

When many people consider a deck, they often think of it being a flat, square, wooden platform on stilts.

Most of the time, homeowners nowadays choose or consider composite decking material or Trex select deck boards in order to reduce the worries of maintaining the wooden material. Not only it is sustainable, but it also helps out reduce the use of cutting trees.

But, with a bit more vision, you can create something much more than that.

There are actually a lot of options to consider once you start planning your outdoor patio space, and, although this is perhaps the most integral part of the project, it can also be one of the most enjoyable, if you do it right.

Outdoor Deck and Patio Ideas

First, consider all of the activities your deck will be used for. Sunbathing, cookouts, entertaining guests, family celebrations, and simply unwinding at the end of a long day are all possibilities.

Therefore, how much space will you need in order to get the most benefit out of your deck? Do you need built-in deck storage? A fireplace?

What about space for a hot tub or outdoor water features? An outdoor kitchen or grill? Patio furniture? Table for eating? Will you be mounting a TV outside? Need a separate play area for the kids?

You will find you could save yourself a great deal of time and money if you plan your deck well NOW. Be sure to include everything you may utilize it for prior to starting the building process.

You can always come back and add to your deck later, but if you have the budget and right plan, it’s best to get it done right the first time.

Outdoor Deck Plans

So, after you’ve made a list of activities you intend use your new deck for, the next step is to sketch a draft that outlines the main details and different areas you want to include.

Think about the various layout options that would accommodate each of your needs, as well as enhance the aesthetic of both your deck and home.

Keep in mind, some shapes require more work and a larger budget, so keep those factors in mind as you plan. Although, it may just be worth it to go big to ensure you get exactly the deck you want.

Make sure you take the time to think about everything you will need for your outdoor deck area. For example, do you want permanently installed lighting, connected to your home electricity source?

Or, maybe you would prefer something less expensive and more decorative, like origami lanterns or fairy lights.

Once you’ve made a decision, it’s time to get into the more intricate details of the project.

Do I need a contractor?

For starters, will you be building it or will you need to hire a contractor? Next, do you need permits of authorization from your city or HOA to build an attached deck? What are the requirements to obtain those permits?

If you are hiring a contractor, they can often help you get the necessary permits and can walk you through the process.

Outdoor Deck Material

Next, you’ll need to decide on the best outdoor deck material for your living space. Some are made from treated wood, while others are made from cedar, redwood, or a selection of various other woods.

The area and climate where you live should play a great deal in your choices. You definitely want something that will last. If you choose the most affordable lumber, you may end up with a cheaply made deck. Choose wisely!

Basically, you get what you pay for. Needless to say, choosing the right type of wood for your deck is a big decision.

Waterproof Decking

One of the most important aspects of planning for an outdoor deck is ensuring that the decking itself is waterproof. There are a few different ways to waterproof decking, and the best method will depend on the materials you are using and the climate you live in.

One option for waterproofing decking is to use a sealant or waterproofing stain. This can be applied to the surface of the decking material and will help to create a barrier against moisture. However, it is important to re-apply these products on a regular basis, as they can wear down over time.

Another option is to install a waterproof membrane under the decking. Membranes are available in a variety of materials, including PVC, EPDM rubber, and synthetic fabrics. Membranes are installed over the surface of the joists and help to create a watertight barrier.

In climates where there is a lot of rain or snow, it is also important to make sure that the space under the deck is properly drained. This can be accomplished by installing a drainage system around the perimeter of the deck. The system should include a system of gutters and downspouts to collect and redirect water away from the deck.

By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your outdoor deck is waterproof and will last for many years to come.

DIY Outdoor Deck

By the way, if you’re building the deck yourself, you’re still going to be required to get the necessary permits. Fortunately, there are plenty of tutorials and videos available that can help walk you through each step of the process.

There are even outdoor deck kits to help make the process go even smoother, if you want to consider that route.

Building it yourself can offer you a feeling of achievement and sense of pride knowing that you built it.

Hopefully you were able to at least learn the basic steps needed to get your outdoor deck project started. A beautiful outdoor deck can be one of the greatest additions you can add to your outside living space.

Get out there and enjoy your new deck!