Category Archives: Decks

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Decks and Patios with a Purpose

Creating a variety of spaces where the outdoors can be enjoyed is easier than you may think. Whether you already have a deck or you’re considering a home improvement project to build a new deck, now is the time to think about your use of space. A deck has lots of open space and it’s your job to optimize that space so that you get enjoyment from every square foot of the outdoor “room” you’re creating.075

Just like the inside of your house, you can create “rooms” and spaces on your deck for the different activities and interests of you and your family. Think about the interior of your home where you have a small kitchen nook, a reading chair, and a napping space. Maybe you have a computer workroom, or a craft nook. These are all welcoming spaces that inspire and nurture your activities.

Your deck or patio works the same way. Creating spaces on your deck or patio can open up a whole new world for you, your family, and guests. Consider some of these home improvement projects to expand the use of your outdoor deck or patio:
Fire pit Seating Area
1.Create a ‘warm’ space for roasting marshmallows and warming toes on a chilly winter night by adding a grill, chiminea, or firepit.

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2.Design a reading area that is in a quiet corner of the deck surrounded by a water feature and the nearby chatter of birds.

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3.Prepare a kitchen area where friends and food can be enjoyed together.

Patio game area Looks like washer toss.
4.Create a game space where children and adults can spend hours of fun playing and laughing over games.

So, this sounds like a lot of work to you? Well, think again!

It’s really quite simple and it’s a project that takes a little effort, minimal financial outlay, and lots of creativity. We’ve provided some tips and ideas to help you get started.

1.Create different “rooms” on your deck by creating a multi-tiered structure with different levels if you’re building a new deck or adding on to an existing one. If you’re not planning this type of expansion, don’t worry. You can still create a lot of outdoor “rooms” on your existing deck or patio.

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2.Add wider steps between deck levels or between the deck and the ground. These wider steps can actually become a good game “room” or space for other activities. They’re also the perfect transition between “rooms”.

3.Change the orientation of your decking boards – use diagonal boards for one “room” and turn them in another direction to differentiate between other rooms.

4.Divide outdoor “rooms” with built-in planters, arbors, or other structures. Container gardening makes it quick and easy to cordon off “rooms”.

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5.Add a gazebo as a brand new room for reading and relaxation, or include a porch swing on the gazebo for a quick nap.

6.Use different colors, shapes, and designs of outdoor rugs to create visual variations in the different spaces you want to create. Use a consistent color theme and then go wild with exotic designs and patterns that complement your color theme.

7.Use outdoor furniture to create the mood and visual attraction of various “rooms”. For the reading space, a relaxing chair, hammock, or a swing is a good idea. For the “game room”, include a table, comfortable deck pillows, and a storage area for board games, cards, and other supplies. Use colorful furniture in the game area.

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8.If you’re not ready to go the expense route of a full outdoor kitchen, simply create a “kitchen” by including a grill, beverage bar, bar stools, and a built-in hideaway for a cooler filled with ice, beverages, and snacks.

9.Set-up an area with a craft table or computer docking station that welcomes artists, writers, computer enthusiasts, or others.

Built-ins can be a great way to enhance the use of the various outdoor “rooms” you’ve created. A built-in storage space for the game room, built-in cabinets for kitchen supplies, a stationery desk with drawers for crafts, and other built-in structures make it easy and convenient to enjoy the outdoor space.

Another way to extend and expand the use of the spaces you have created is to undertake a home improvement project that includes outdoor lighting, electrical outlets, and a sound system. Not only will your family and friends enjoy the unexpected fun of the rooms they discover, the space can be opened up as an extension of your home for larger gatherings and parties.

If you thought your deck or patio was just for occasional use, then you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of nature’s beauty of the great outdoors. Stand on your deck, take it all in, and then get creative. This is one home improvement project you and your family will enjoy today and for many more years to come!

You can make a master plan and accomplish it in two or more seasons to achieve your final goal.

Deck Renovation With a Unique Twist

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Whether you’re building a new deck or just enhancing an existing structure, you don’t have to look far to find ways to improve the appearance and safety of your deck. The value of a home can be increased substantially with a well-designed deck that is an extension of the house. Decks that are architecturally similar to the house design are less intrusive and appear as natural extensions of the inside of the home.

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up an existing structure, or if you’re considering a new or additional structure, think about the railings you plan to use. Railings can make a significant difference in how your deck looks and how safe it is for those who enjoy the outdoor “room”.  Rather than a typical plan with balusters and rails, think about something that represents your personality and that mirrors the architecture of your home.

Railings no longer have to be square. Wooden rails and balusters can have a unique design and shape to add to your deck’s pleasing appearance. Consider railings that have decorative balusters with carvings or turned posts. Lattice is always available in various shapes and sizes in wood and it can offer a vintage touch to your design. Include it between posts as a decorative addition and added safety.

What  home improvement project hasn’t considered vinyl for its durability and low maintenance features? Vinyl comes in a variety of shapes and colors and it can be used on decks to add color and character. Although vinyl may be a consideration, it is not an environmentally friendly solution so keep that in mind as you make choices.

For a deck that is raised high off the ground or if you have young children or pets, you may even consider tempered glass or acrylic for installation on your deck between the railings and posts. There are many types of safety glass and it is ideal if you have a deck that is built high off the ground with a view. It allows you to enjoy the beauty of the environment while including a safety feature where needed.

Metal is another option to consider for decorative purposes. Simply using metal for a sculptural effect can add more character. Soldering metal designs together and attaching them to deck railings or posts can add a charming effect. Metals can include materials such as copper and wrought iron. Many types of railings and ornamental designs are available in wrought iron for easy installation. Carry the theme throughout the deck by including metal fixtures, statues, or other amenities.

For a nautical effect, consider using roping between posts and railings. You can even find heavy roping in various colors. You can also consider multi-colored canvas or other outdoor fabrics to dress up a drab railing by attaching it to the railing. Since fabric can become faded and worn with time, it can be easily replaced with new, bright colors when you’re ready.

Don’t always think square and traditional when it comes to railings and balusters for your deck. Look around at the many options available and create your own personal style by using various shapes, sizes, and materials. Decorate your railings in a way that complements the décor of your home and bring some of your decorating style outside too.

You’ll find that your deck is functional and fun when you make it uniquely you!