A backyard deck can add immense value to your property, expand your outdoor living space and facilitate family bonding. While even the most basic deck can provide these benefits, upgrading your deck can make the space even more functional, beautiful, and welcoming.
The right features for your deck depends on the architecture of your home, the main purposes for the space, and your preferences, but if you're building a deck you should consider the following 10 upgrades.
1. Attached Structure
The construction of a new deck can provide the perfect opportunity to build other outdoor structures or connect existing structures to your home. This attachment makes all of your outdoor structures more accessible.
Consider creating a screened porch on a portion of your deck, building a greenhouse onto the deck or connecting a private gazebo to the main structure.
While outdoor furnishings can make your deck comfortable, you can also achieve a luxurious, inviting space using built-ins. With the right contractor, you can build virtually anything onto or into your deck that you may want to use outdoors.
For example, a built-in outdoor kitchen is the perfect asset for a grill master, while permanent planters encourage the creativity of a gardener.
3. Decorative Railings
Your deck should complement your home's exterior, landscaping and hardscaping. If these other outdoor elements have a lot of intricate detail, an unadorned deck may look out of place.
Consider wrought iron railings for a classic look to match a historical home or organically shaped spindles to help the deck feel like part of the scenery.
Extend your deck's usable hours by wiring for outdoor lighting. Your lighting choices can be as simple as hanging strands or as custom as under lighting for your stairs, rails or seating.
The best characteristic of this upgrade is that if the uses of your deck change in the future, you can always add more lighting to accent new features.
Even if you use your deck for sunbathing, you may need some relief from direct sunlight during the day. To create a stylish source of shade, add a pergola to the deck.
Pergolas consist of an overhead structure made of slats of wood. This choice lets in more sunlight than an awning, but can also make the deck space comfortable enough to use when the sun is high in the sky.
6. Privacy Measures
If your backyard feels fairly open to your neighbors, a privacy measure can make your deck feel like a more personal, intimate space for just you and your family or invited guests. Privacy measures come in all shapes and sizes so it's easy to find an option that matches the style, shape and uses of your deck.
For example, potted bamboo can create a fun, tropical screen, while outdoor curtains can make your backyard feel like a retreat at a high-class resort. To make these privacy measures a permanent fixture on your deck, discuss your desires with your contractor.
A built-in bamboo planter can ensure that you don't sacrifice deck space for privacy, while incorporated curtain rods can keep your drapes billowing beautifully instead of blowing away whenever the wind picks up.
In addition to built-in features, you should also consider fixed furnishings. Benches can be easily incorporated into most deck designs, whether you prefer one long seating area for outdoor dining or several chair-like separate benches perfect for entertaining.These seating structures can also be the ideal place to store gardening equipment, barbeque tools and other outdoor essentials out of sight, but still on hand.
To give your deck a more polished look and hide any items that you store beneath it, consider adding skirtboards to the design. These screens attach to the bottom of the deck, concealing the posts and anything else underneath the structure.
Skirtboards also provide the opportunity to add more decoration to the design by choosing an interesting pattern.
Just because your deck is outdoors doesn't mean you have to abandon all the indoor luxuries you love to use it. Think about tech upgrades that will improve your use of the space.
For example, integrated speakers can turn your deck into a spa-like are with ambient noise or a perfect party location with the right music.
If you live in an area with frequent winds, like the Midwest, the breeze may occasionally interfere with your outdoor plans. You can reduce the effects of seasonal breezes with windscreens.
You can incorporate patterns into windscreens for extra decoration or install reinforced glass for an invisible asset against inclement weather.
Work these upgrades into your deck design to maximize the beauty and potential of your outdoor space.
If you want to build a deck as unique as your home, yard and family, discuss your options with D.S. Bahr Construction, Inc. We have experience with all styles of wood decks, including second-story balconies and custom-shaped decks. We can help you decide on the right upgrades for your space.