No matter how stressful or difficult the whole pandemic or lockdown situation was, it made us rethink how we live. Numerous studies are being conducted to evaluate the environment’s effect on our mental well-being, especially after being in lockdown. And its’ no wonder poor housing condition has been linked with deteriorating mental state in several of these studies.
However, you might not need facts and numbers to grasp how your immediate environment can impact your mental well-being. If you have craved to breathe in nature at least once a day during the lockdown, but the fear of being exposed to the virus has kept you from it, you certainly know how crucial it is to have a space at home that takes you closer to nature. Just think how comfortable you would have felt if you had someplace to relax and unwind right at your home.
And if you are wondering how you can make it happen, building a deck might just be the thing for you. While a patio might not be a full-on outdoor experience, it’s the closest to nature you can be while being at home. Read on to learn how you can build a deck to enhance your lifestyle.
Define the Purpose of the Decking
Decking works as an extension of your house; it can serve any purpose. It can work as an outdoor dining or an outdoor party space to host occasional BBQ and cocktail parties. While you might have some specific design on your mind, it should be compatible to build it.
The function of the deck also defines the scale. If you want the space just for relaxing and occasional family gatherings, you might not need a large terrace. However, you need large space and unique features such as a cooking area, dining area, or a lounge for hosting a party.
Select the Site
The ideal site for your deck depends on some factors- orientation of the sun, view, and wind circulation. Besides, the soil condition of the potential site should also be in consideration, especially if you want something large scale and that needs deep footing.
A deck is mostly outdoor space, and you can’t deny the environmental factors in your design. Before you build the deck, make sure you consider the sun angle and weather pattern. If you want the most sun exposure, you can lace the deck on the south-facing façade.
An east or west-facing deck will provide you with few hours of sun exposure in the morning and the evening. Partial shading or pergola can give you some much-needed shelter from the direct sun; it can even offer you privacy.
The view should be your prime consideration while selecting a location for your deck. After all, the reason you want to spend time on the deck is to enjoy the view- be it a sunset or birds chirping in trees.
If all you could see from your deck is the next-door neighbor’s window, you should rethink the location. Even if you don’t have lovely views around your house, you can plan landscaping to enhance the visual appeal.
The deck shouldn’t be placed in a location that faces strong winds. Ensure you place the deck in an area that gets the least wind, snow, or rain. The wind can carry the rain or snow towards your home, and if the drainage clogs, your interior can get flooded. If the deck faces strong winds, consider installing a windscreen or louvers to divert the gust of wind.
As decking materials stay exposed to the weather all year round, you must select materials that can withstand the weather. Besides, decking material also impacts the look; the texture, color, and laying pattern all contribute to the final appearance.
If you want a rugged wood appearance, you can consider pressure-treated wood. Cedar, hardwood is also some suitable materials for decking and railing. If you want low-maintenance materials, you can try composite decking; they have a natural wood and plastic combination. PVC decking is also in trend for the flexible pattern and design.
Bamboo decking can provide pleasing aesthetics, environmentally friendly, and durable. For deck footing, you can either use precast concrete or cast cement footings right on the site.
Select a Design
There is no shortage of design options or ideas when it comes to building a deck. All factors should be considered for the design, from the deck shape to the laying patterns of materials. Here is some decking type that you can consider for your house.
The wraparound deck is perfect if you want a full view and exposure to nature. While it may appear old-fashioned, you can tweak the design a little to accommodate different functions around the deck. For instance, the space with major functions can flare out a little from the house to create some pocket space, and the circulation spaces can open up to them, creating a space hierarchy.
Platform decks are low and built on level ground. These decks are suitable for hosting large-scale parties.
Raised decks are suitable for hilly terrain. As they need deep footing to be raised above the ground, the size usually stays small. However, they have a unique floating appearance that certainly adds to the home appeal.
An attached deck is the extension of your home, like an outdoor lounge or patio. The attached deck can either connect two wings of a house or be placed as an entrance deck.
An island deck can be built isolated from the house. For instance, if you have a backyard garden, you can create an island deck under shady trees. Ensure you have a pathway built with a stone or wooden deck that will lead you to the deck from your home.
Building a poolside deck can spruce up your pool appearance. It can provide a platform for lounging around the pool. Add some shady tree nearby, and you will get your little oasis.
A multi-level deck has decks built on different levels, usually connected with stairs, ramps, or pathways. These are suitable for contour landscape. They provide quite interesting viewing options from different levels.
Rooftop or Garage Deck
Rooftop decks or garage decks are suitable for the urban landscape. When you need views and privacy, you can consider building a rooftop deck.
Decide What Features You Want To Add
Depending on the purpose of building the deck, you have to add some features. For instance, you can add a pergola for shading, trellis for hanging planter boxes, and add a hot tub for relaxation. If you want grilling or cooking facilities, you will need utility connections to your deck.
Fix a Budget
For building a deck, you can get as extravagant or as simple you want with the design. However, going overboard with the design and size will require a significant budget. Before you take up the project, estimate the building costs, include material cost, transport, equipment, installation, and labor cost.
However, if you want a DIY approach, you will save the labor cost. Allocate a fixed budget for every phase of the construction and track how much you are spending in each phase. There is no point in blowing the whole budget while you are just halfway through the project.
The Bottom Line
With the right design, your deck can be the most desired space in your house. The function, design, materials all should create a holistic impression of the deck area. However, make sure the deck is also structurally strong and safe for use, especially if you are building a raised deck that will float above the ground. If required, consult with professional deck builders to design a structurally sound and visually appealing deck in your house.