Design Considerations for a New Deck

Forbes Design Center | Design Considerations for a New Deck

A deck can be a wonderful inclusion to any home, providing space, comfort and a place to relax and spend time with loved ones. It is, however, a space that requires careful planning. Here, the home design experts at Forbes Design Center provide considerations for your upcoming deck project.

What are the Deck-Building Codes for Your County?

Building codes in Maryland and Pennsylvania vary depending on the county, and can dictate what types of materials are used, how a deck must be stabilized and more. In Baltimore County, for example, arsenic-treated wood is no longer allowed to be used as a deck-building material. A certified design center will be knowledgeable about your county’s unique building requirements, and plan accordingly.

How Will the Space Be Used?

The most important question for any homeowner considering a deck is how it will be used. Do you wish for a small, intimate deck that provides a vista for watching the sunset? Or, do you enjoy entertaining, and consequently want a large deck with plenty of seating options? Are you a fan of outdoor cooking? What about a pool? These are just a few considerations for how an outdoor deck could be used. Consider your living style, family size and entertainment sensibilities to determine what kind of deck space will be right for you.

Is There Room for Moving and Walking?

An ambitious design will fall flat if room is not made for walking and moving. It is important to include plenty of space for comfortable walkways between and around each of the areas of your deck. Including space for pulling out chairs, adding potted plants and other design elements will create a successful deck layout.

What Kind of Materials Do You Want to Use?

Besides consulting building codes for your area, it is also up to personal preference, as well as your maintenance abilities, to determine what building materials are right for you. If you wish for long-lasting materials that require almost zero maintenance, a composite or PVC deck may be the right choice for you. Our Decking page can provide you with more information regarding the durability and quality of various deck materials.

What Size and Shape Do You Need?

A general design rule is that a deck should be no larger than 20% of a home’s square footage, but homeowner’s need not stick hard and fast to this rule, depending on what they wish to get out of a deck space. Along with this, homeowners must decide one a shape—while a traditional rectangle may work for some, yards with lots of plant-life and trees, or hills and other obstructions, may require a more uniquely-shaped deck with different types of supporting structures underneath. A design that incorporates curves or other patterns will provide a more individualistic touch to your home, and can really make outdoor spaces special.

How Will You Create Shade?

Long summer days are fun to spend outdoors, but can become hot on sunny days. Will your deck incorporate shade-making structures, such as a pergola, or will it rely on shade from surrounding trees and plants? Consider what areas of the deck will require shade, and which areas can do with full sun.

How Can Forbes Design Center Help?

At Forbes Design Center, we believe homeowners aren’t truly taking advantage of their outdoor spaces until they have found ways to utilize them to their full potential. A deck is an amazing way to make the most of a back or front yard, and our team of specialized engineers and design planners are there to ensure that every detail is worked to your exact specifications. Why undertake such an important project alone, when you could have Forbes on your side?

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