Factors to Consider Before Building a Deck Factors to Consider Before Building a Deck

There are numerous reasons for people to build a deck and some of those reasons may not have occurred to you because they seem so obvious. Still other reasons may not have even crossed your mind because you haven’t thought that far ahead. You should carefully consider the reasons for wanting to build a deck, the functions it will serve and its purpose. Doing this will allow you to plan and design a deck that is inviting and functional as well.

Let’s look at some of the reasons for building a deck and then some of the facets of planning your deck. The first reasons that come to mind are fun, pleasure, beauty and adding additional living space.

Fun and Pleasure

Most people want a deck for enjoyment, to entertain guests and have family gatherings. A deck is also a place to relax, catch some rays if it’s in the sun part of the day, to read or sit quietly, or just enjoy being outdoors.

The best spot to plan your deck is where it will be convenient to get to from the kitchen for serving food, and so guest can have access to the restroom.

A deck is extremely versatile and can be used as a place to paint, sculpt, play games, sew, garden, do arts and crafts, listen to music and exercise. The possibilities of fun things you can do are endless.


A deck can add beauty to your home as an elegant addition or by creating a focal point in your yard. If your deck will be used to enhance the landscaping of the yard there are also other things to take into consideration like size, proportions, using unique angles to create a work of art. The deck can be built with several levels, around a pool or gardening area, close to fountains or waterfalls or even have these things incorporated into the design of your deck.

Decks can complement the architectural style of your home, add a special accent to your home, and be used to convert and unattractive area into a beautiful landscape feature.

Additional Living Space

Adding a deck onto your existing structure can add beneficial living space to your home. A deck becomes an extension of your home but is generally less expensive than adding a conventional room.

A deck also helps reduce the wear and tear on your homes interior and if used as a main entrance will alleviate some of the dirt and mud tracked into your home.

The deck can be built, decorated and furnished to take on the character of a family room or den and can be a haven for the entire family. Or it can be decorated to give the space a whole new feel and appearance.

The local climate of your area will also play a big role in some of the aspects of building a deck. You can have the whole deck open and outdoorsy or build a covering on part of it for days when there’s a little rain but not cold enough to stay indoors.

Now you should consider some of the obstacles that may come up as you plan and design your deck. Careful consideration of these aspects will help you create a deck that is functional and pleases you.

Site Factors, Space, Access, Privacy and the View

The site you choose to build your deck on will also play a role in its design. You will want to pay close attention to where the sun is at different hours of the day. Will your furniture be set up so no one is blinded or will you use screens and walls to block out the suns rays?

Size will also play a major factor in the design of your deck. If your yard is small, your deck design will be limited.

You will also have to consider property lines, easements, zoning and building restrictions, and future landscaping needs or ideas.

Access from your home to the deck should allow for an easy flow of traffic. You don’t want any tight spots where people would have to constantly step aside to allow someone else entrance into the home or vice versa. Of course if you are limited on space there may be no other options.

A free-standing deck or one that isn’t attached to your home, may be an option as well. You will have to consider adding walkways to and from the deck and your home if you choose this option.

Another consideration is privacy. You want the deck to impart a sense of privacy from neighbors and add a feel of seclusion.

Use a stepladder and other elements to gage the height of your deck and take time to move from spot to spot checking the view of neighboring homes. Privacy walls and fences can be used if you want more isolation from on looking neighbors.

One of the most important aspects of your deck may be the view. If your home is near a lake or has a mountain range close by, you will want to consider being able to enjoy those as you sit out on your deck.

Sit outside and pay close attention to the landscaping around the deck area. Are there trees or shrubs that will block the view you want from your deck? Will trees and shrubs obstruct the view as they grow?

Paying attention to the view from inside of your home is just as important and should be pleasing to the eye. Look through each window or doorway that your deck will be visible from and imagine how it will look when it’s finished. This will give you an idea of design and placement. Make sure that none of the features you want in your deck will obstruct the view from inside your home.

There are many factors to consider before planning and designing your deck. The ones listed here are just a few of the things you want to think about during the planning stages.

A deck will add value and charm to your home and give you many years of enjoyment. Careful planning and designing will help you utilize all the features you want in your deck.

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