If there were a recipe for a perfect deck, it would certainly differ depending on the builder, but the basic ingredients might look something like:
1 cup additional square feet for entertaining and relaxing
1½ cups vantage point for enjoying the outdoors
¾ tablespoons increased home value and appeal
2 cups improved homeowner satisfaction
1 deck design**
**The deck design is the binding agent. In other words, the ingredient that brings everything together to make the end result possible – a great deck.
The best part about this recipe is that the deck design can be modified to suit the unique tastes of the person for whom it is made. Likewise, the deck and accent colors can be chosen to complement specific decor.
To spice up and ensure a one-of-a-kind end result, a few things can be tweaked per taste. It does not matter whether a deck is one level or multiple levels, as the following elements can enhance any design:
Shape – Nobody said it must be a simple square or rectangle. Composite deck boards can be cut and curved to create a number of interesting shapes and angles that add visual interest and better tie into existing surroundings.
Inlaid patterns –Mix and match deck boards in contrasting colors to create an eye-catching inlaid design or pattern. Alternative board placement in which boards are installed in different directions is another way to make a deck stand out.
Décor – Depending on a deck’s intended use(s), a number of add-on features can increase style and function. Built-in benches and planter boxes can help define space while adding color and comfort. An arbor, pergola or gazebo can establish a focal point, divide use areas, and provide privacy and shade. If the space is intended for entertaining, an outdoor kitchen and/or TV can be a good addition. Or what about a water feature? These can include anything from a small fountain to a pool or hot tub.
Temperature – For cooler nights, a fire pit, fireplace or outdoor heater can make time on a deck more comfortable and enjoyable. If fire-resistant decking is required or desired for areas surrounding fire features, fire-rated composite decking is available in some brands.
Light – A little light can go a long way by extending the hours one can enjoy their deck. After the sun goes down, low voltage lighting improves safety and creates a warm, inviting ambiance. To help conceal wiring, some composite railing systems are available with hollow posts.
To help make deck design faster and easier, some decking manufacturers include free tools on their websites. For example, on moistureshield.com users can create, save and edit their 3D deck designs with the DeckLife™ program, or see different color combinations of MoistureShield decking and railing with the DeckVision™ tool. To get started, visit http://www.moistureshield.com/deck-design-tools/.