It's true that kitchens, bathrooms and the right number of bedrooms are key to buying a house. Other features like decks, views and great landscaping make a house stand out from the crowd and influence buyers. Our deck design ideas will help you update your home if you don't have all the outdoor living space you need or want.
We might not count decks in the square footage of a home's living space today but we're spending more time at home so outdoor living space are really important. Maybe in the future, outdoor living space will be included in house listings similar to the way unfinished/below level or basement space is included today.
Prioritize Your Deck Dreams
Maybe you already have a deck or patio, but it's too small or for some reason you're not using it much? Why not dream a little and put together a list of features your dream deck might have.
Build your dream list with everything you want, then go back and prioritize your list. If you already have a deck, look at your top 3 features and see how they can be added to what you have. For a new deck, your budget will tell you how many of the deck features you've listed will be possible.
- Do you have great views you want to enjoy when relaxing on your deck?
- Would you like your deck to be covered? with a roof, pergola or awning?
- Is your ideal location adjacent to the house? or farther away enjoy views?
- Are you interested in deck design ideas that will be unique to your property?
- Will the use of screening add to your enjoyment, especially if there is water nearby?
- Would you like to expand the seasons when you can use your covered deck with window panels you can swap for summer screens?
- Is there a dedicated chef who wants to create an outdoor kitchen?
- Maybe you don't have time for extensive gardening but you'd like to include planters for herbs and/or colorful flowers?
- Would you like multiple spaces, and possibly ones in different sizes to support the intended activities like a quiet nook for one person, where you can sneak off to read and take a nap.
Deck Design Ideas to Make You Smile
Before researching your deck materials, there are some key decisions to make so get out a piece of paper and jot down your dreams, what you'd like for your deck or patio.
Consider Deck Design Ideas for Family Activities
How much time does your family spend at home? What activities do you tend to do together, i.e. family dinner every night? How often do you have company or throw parties? Don't worry about one deck that has to do it all, as most indoor parties find people gathering in several places and always around the food (the secret to directing where you want people to go).
When designing a kitchen, it's common to identify activity areas. You can use the same approach to design your deck and possibly, your entire outdoor living space.
- Do you want an area for cooking and family dinners?
- Is a larger space for small social gatherings important?
- Would you like an area to relax and read a book, take a nap, etc. … separate from the kids play area? This is where you might want the best view from your backyard.
- Does your kid's play area need to be visible from inside your home? or would you rather hide their gear out of view except when you need to check up on them? It's amazing how many homeowners make their kids swing set the focal point of their backyard … but what happens when they outgrow the swings?
Ideal Locations for Your Deck
While we tend to think of decks hiding behind the house while porches are in front, they're both outdoor living spaces to be enjoyed by those who live there. What views do you want to capture from your deck, porch or patio? You've heard about wrap-around porches … so use your imagination and imagine 2 or 3 outdoor spaces woven together by outdoor paths, with doors that fit their purpose – a patio door from the living room for informal gatherings outdoors versus family dinners on a deck off the kitchen.
Deck Design Ideas to Consider
It's not uncommon for new homes to be sold without a deck, to cut down on the price of a new home … or they include a small, 8 x 10 ft deck. Good builders will prepare the footings and leave a gravel bed where they think a deck should go.
When it comes to designing your deck, you need to look at the bigger picture, one that includes your home's design and the landscaping as they all go together to make that visual impression. If you haven't finished your landscaping, it's wise to plan the deck/patio space together with the landscaping and walkways that will help tie it together.
Draw your dream backyard (and maybe a side yard with great views) in it's entirety. If you hope to someday add an inground pool, don't you want to place your deck where it will compliment your pool. Start with a design for the next ten or even 20 years. From your design, list the features in order of priority. Now you're ready to build out each feature over several years if that what your budget requires.
We've got more deck articles in our library soon. Each one can help you with the advantages of decks and patios, an overview of material choices and more.
- Patio or Deck: What’s Right for Your Backyard?
- Decking Materials: Choices for Every Home & Budget
- Composite Decking or Rot-Resistant Wood?
- Deck Maintenance with These 3 Quick Tips
- Deck Building Basics
If there are other aspects of deck design, installation and maintenance that we can help you with, let us know via the comment section below.