5 Deck Design Fails
1. Level Changes:
Intuitive traffic patterns, good. Giant stairs or unnecessary changes in elevation, bad. Stairs and elevation changes detract from usable space and versatility. Let your layout dictate seating areas without wasteful restrictions.
2. Built in Seating/Features:
As much as we love to accessorize our decks, some options constrict the future usage of the space. Good luck moving a full built in planter when you’re over your urban gardening phase. Built in seating can be great if you’re sick of your neighbors spying on you through your deck railings or to use as a lower level railing replacement. Otherwise, keep it movable and relatively light weight.
3. Treated Lumber Decks:
You get what you pay for. Now, don’t get me wrong, treated lumber material has it’s place like framing a deck. Would we ever put it anywhere visible? Absolutely not. Treated lumber dries excessively, warps, cracks and to put it simply, looks dreadful. After a year, your neat and tidy treated lumber railing will end up looking like twisted tree branches. Spend more upfront for a product that won’t impale your guests with giant splinters.
4. Intricate Decking Designs:
We love an impressive leaf design built into a deck or elaborate decking angles for our company portfolio. Would we put them in our own outdoor living space? Probably not. Once you start placing outdoor furniture, rugs, heaters, planters and toys on your deck, those pricey design that took so much labor will most likely be obscured. And all those individual little pieces and extra joints/seams used to create the designs? They’re all going to expand and contract individually increasing the likelihood of future problems.
5. Thinking too Small (or too Large):
When designing deck space, the most important thing to consider is how you’re going to use the space. Some clients may need a built in grill, fire pit, lounge area and dining space for their annual neighborhood Memorial Day party for 100 guests. Remember, outdoor furniture and dining sets are only getting bigger and comfier! Other clients may dream of enjoying their morning coffee with their sweetheart on a small cafe table for two on a small deck off their master bedroom. Plan your square footage around your needs. Don’t try to fit your needs into an arbitrary number.