One of the greatest things about West Coast living is definitely the weather. Here it is, the middle of March, and the mercury is already topping 80 degrees. Weather like this inevitably makes you want to get outside and enjoy it. A deck could be the perfect way for your family to soak up the sun this spring and summer without having to stray from your home base.
Before building anything, research which building codes you must adhere to, as well as which permits you must obtain. Then, it’s off to the fun part. Decks come in so many shapes and sizes. This can make it difficult to know just where to begin. A good starting point is always the budget. A smaller price tag may well mean a smaller deck, but by no means does it have to be a boring design, and these photos prove it. Once you’ve locked in your price point, examine your personal needs: what sorts of activities will you be engaging in on your deck? If you like to entertain the masses, you may want to outfit it with a bar, a grill and maybe even a fire pit to keep everyone toasty way after sundown.
If your deck is less than three feet above ground level and connects with the earth below, avoid any steep staircases, as they can be become tiring to walk up and down more than a few times. Instead, consider breaking up the climb with two or more sets of stairscontaining no more than four steps, and maybe a separate deck level between them to create a multi-level space. This becomes an even better idea when there are small children to think about.
Of course, stairs aren’t a problem when there’s no ground to walk down to. Many hillside homeowners construct decks to increase square footage where otherwise there wouldn’t be usable space. The results can be breathtaking, especially when there are gorgeous vistas to be seen outside.
A lot of newer decks make great use of built-in lightingto add mood and character while keeping you and your guests out of the dark. Planters also provide a personal touch – just choose plants and flowers that thrive in your climate, and make sure that the planters are sealed so that your fun doesn’t get dampened when you water them.
Many people would get a kick out of shopping for the perfect furniture to outfit their deck, but if you’re not among them, that’s just fine: design your deck to have built-in seating. We recommend that if you choose this option, you shop around for bench cushions to enhance the area with bits of your personality.
At the end of the day, your deck should feel like a place of refuge, whether under a warm sun or beneath a full moon. As with any room in your home, it’s much easier to reach this goal when you allow yourself to have fun with it. Let your deck be an expression of who you are. We promise that it’ll get a lot more use that way.
Do you have a great deck that you’d like to share with us? Please do – email us now!
Eileen Gould Design & Construction, Inc.