Top Things to Consider When Planning a Deck

Top Things to Consider When Planning a Deck
There are many reasons for building a deck and just as many things to consider before starting your project. Take the time to consider how your deck will be used. That way, you'll understand which types, style and material of decking will work best for you. Here are a few questions to get you started:

         • Are there restrictions on the size, placement or type of deck you can build?
         • How soon do you need your deck?
         • What purpose or function will your deck serve?
         • Which style of deck is best suited for that purpose?
         • Is your property mostly level, or is it sloped?
         • How do you want friends and family to access your deck?
         • Where and how do you plan to provide seating for guests?
   At The Home Depot, we offer a wide range of decking styles and materials to match all your needs.

The Anatomy of a Deck 

The Anatomy of a Deck Understanding the anatomy of your deck can make your planning process, and your buying process, easier. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the parts that make up a deck before you start.

The Purpose of Your Deck 

The Purpose of Your Deck A well-designed deck should be an expression of how you live. Its style, size and decorative details should match your taste and fit the way you and your family use the deck. Beyond that, your deck should complement its environment – its location in your landscape, its connection to your home and the natural elements that surround it. Your deck, therefore, should ideally be somewhat different from any other deck because it is built for you and your lifestyle. Whatever your reason for building a deck – for entertaining, relaxing or outdoor living – we offer the materials to meet your needs.

Consider Your Space 

Consider Your Space When it comes to deciding how large your deck should be, follow this primary guideline: make your deck large enough to comfortably handle all the activities you want to take place on it. Start with a sketch of your deck that shows the space needed for each of the activities you expect the deck to accommodate. You’ll need enough room for the activity itself, traffic flow through and around the area, and outdoor furniture, which tends to be a little larger than its indoor counterparts. If you don’t think you have enough room in any one area, make that area larger or find ways to make spaces do double duty. If you need space for a private retreat, sometimes you can create just the right feeling in a corner of the deck. Just moving a chair can make a small part of a larger area feel more secluded.
When areas with different functions will be used at the same time, you can separate them visually and physically by using planters, trellises, benches, or changing the decking pattern.

Consider the Location 

Consider the Location There’s a lot more to choosing a location for your deck than merely placing it somewhere at the rear of the house.  There is no rule that says a deck has to be attached to the house at all. You may find that a detached location, back in the rear part of your yard, provides the perfect spot for a natural getaway. If you plan to put the deck next to the house, take advantage of its exterior walls to get the best fit for your deck design. Also consider the features of your landscape—the slope of the grade, any existing vegetation, views, and climate. All these can affect the design of your deck and where you build it.
Don’t draw your final plans until you have looked around your yard to see if anything needs changing. Pay particular attention to the terrain, soil and weather influences of your landscape. Unleveled or sloping terrain can make your decking project more complicated but not impossible. Loose, sandy soil is great for gardening but may not provide the sturdiness needed to reduce erosion and provide lasting stability. Areas of direct sunlight, shade or wind can affect the frequency of use and comfort of your deck. Make sure you are mindful of the weather elements at play and make adjustments for climate control. An awning, pergola or umbrella can help to shield you from the elements or provide shade for rest and relaxation.