How to make the most of your deck space

One of the most common things we see with homeowners who want a deck is that they’re inspired by a design in a magazine or on the Internet that looks great and they want to have something like that. There’s nothing wrong with creative inspiration! This is a terrific way to start thinking about your deck design. The problem is that for most people it’s unrealistic because they don’t have the kind of real estate that those gallery decks enjoy.

The good news is that just because you don’t have that kind of space available doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing, leading-edge deck design. It’s very possible to capture the dream that you have in your head and convert that into a deck that looks bigger than it really is.

The first thing that we do when we interview a homeowner is to ask what they’d like to do with their desk; how they envision using it year round. Once we understand the homeowner’s goals for the use of the deck we can begin to design something effective.

Just because you don’t have a huge amount of space available doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing, leading-edge deck design

Most decks are under 400 square feet. With a deck that size, it’s not practical to have multiple levels like some of the decks you see in Gallery photos. Typical size decks with more than one level are unmanageable and even dangerous because each level becomes a very small area where there’s a danger of chairs tipping over a raised edge or just not having enough room for the patio furniture or other things you want to put in that space.

Instead, what you do is set up areas on the deck that are still defined as separate through the use of colors, patterns, borders or design treatment. For example, you can define a border around a bar area and then a different area where you have the patio set or entertainment area. This makes the different sections look distinct from other areas and yet you don’t risk any dangerous situations.

Trex Pro composite decking material comes in a variety of colors that make it easy to divide the space into what effectively becomes separate rooms. In addition, using curved areas can make a very dramatic look that can set areas apart from one another. This is especially powerful when also using railings intelligently.

You can define borders to set any part of your deck apart. For example, simply putting a curved edge on one part of your deck while other parts have straight edges immediately sets apart the curved area. This can be further enhanced by adding a bit of border edging in a different color.

Another way that you can create distinction within your deck is through the use of lighting. By applying unique lighting you can highlight parts of your deck and draw the eye to them in a strategic way. Lighting can even be placed directly into stairs or railings. The right lighting makes some areas appear larger, more interesting or more dramatic than others, giving your deck great impact. You can use dimmers or point the lighting or even a shadow in a way that you want people to focus on the important areas. On a summer evening, when the sun has set and just the deck lighting is on, this can create a very effective romantic or party-like environment.

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