first day of spring

Feel that warm breeze carrying just a slight scent of jasmine? Spring is finally here and summer is fast approaching. Soon it will be time for you and your family to maximize your outdoor living areas. Whether you already have a modest deck, one that’s in need of upgrading, or no deck at all, now is the time to plan for the deck of your dreams.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at all the possible options for your deck. By addressing considering the following five guidelines, you’ll be sure to design a deck to perfectly suit your needs.

If you’re looking to get your new deck up before summer, a loanDepot Licensed Lending Officer can help you get the financing you need and so you’re building and barbecuing in no time.  

Determine the purpose

One of the most important questions to answer before designing a deck is what you plan on using it for. Will it be a peaceful retreat to read a book and enjoy a cold drink? Or will it be a place where you host the entire neighborhood and a live band every other weekend?

Knowing who will be using the space and how will help you to determine the size and key features that you’ll want to incorporate into your design.

Location, location, location

This old real estate adage applies to both houses and decks. Your deck shouldn’t exist in isolation. When choosing its location, ensure that it provides easy indoor and outdoor access. Choose a spot to take advantage of views but also on that maintains privacy. Be aware of sun and shade spots, wind patterns, and proximity to property lines. The materials you plan to use should be considered with this as well. Wood can warp if in a damp area that doesn’t drain properly.

Size and shape

Even if you’ve decided that your deck will be multi-purpose, you can still build something to suit your needs within a relatively small space. Using multiple levels can be a simple way to establish different functional areas within the deck without adding a lot of additional square footage.

Select the right materials

There are five basic types of decking material available to choose from. Your selection should depend on your budget, aesthetics, and maintenance requirements. The following options are available:

  • Pressure-treated lumber
  • Natural wood – redwood or cedar
  • Tropical hardwoods
  • Composites
  • Aluminum

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly option, opt for pressure-treated lumber. For the deck purist, look for redwood or cedar to give you beautiful color and natural beauty. For a natural, denser, more-durable option, select a tropical hardwood. Composites, made of polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, are durable and won’t rot, split, warp, or splinter. Aluminum, while far more difficult to find, is the most durable option, and is also the lightest in weight but the strongest of any of the options.

The downside of the wood options, including the pressure-treated varieties, is that it needs to be sanded and resealed every few years and are far less durable than their plastic or aluminum competitors. While you can rest assured that your composite won’t need the same level of maintenance, it can still grow mold or mildew in shady areas. Aluminum is virtually maintenance-free, but it comes at a cost – $9 per linear foot.

By spending time determining who and how you’ll use your new deck, where to place it and what to use as your materials, you can design the deck of your dreams! Let us help make those dreams come true - give one of our Licensed Lending Officers a call today to get more information about financing.  

Published April 12, 2018


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