Building a deck in your back yard is not something you should take lightly as it will be there for many years to come so there are several deck design principles that one must follow in order to create a deck that will be useful and timeless at the same time.
The process of creating a deck plan, selecting a suitable location and choosing the appropriate features to include should be done with the intention of taking advantage of all of the unique features of your home and backyard as well as the needs of the family members and their aesthetic preferences. A good deck design grows out of existing conditions and does not create the feeling that the resulting deck was forced onto the site.
Let’s take a look at one of the most important deck design principals – the deck location and get you started on your way to a beautiful deck.
The location is important for several reasons:
1. Accessibility – The deck should be accessible and cause its occupants to want to make use of it. The deck should be accessible from the home’s interior spaces such as the family room, the kitchen, dining or living room and ideal situation would have the deck accessed by several entrances from different rooms. Doorways should be wide enough to encourage the transition from indoors to outdoors. Entry to the deck from the garden should be appealing. Wide steps can create a dramatic flair but should be placed to allow practical traffic movement for the deck users. Lighting should be utilized to encourage evening access and provide a measure of safety.
2. Comfortable and pleasant – Another aspect that is related to the location principal is that the deck should be a pleasant and comfortable area and therefore the deck design should take into consideration the direction of the wind, the movement of the sun’s rays and areas of shade. A privacy screen can provide a sound barrier, a windscreen and/or privacy in any backyard environment. The deck can be located in such a way as to take full advantage of the sun while also offering a shaded area to suit the individual preferences of its occupants. Attention can also be given to orienting the deck in such a way as to provide visual access to pleasing views such as water features, gardens, etc.
3. Privacy – The deck should provide a sense of privacy and seclusion. This can be achieved by locating the deck where it is able to utilize fences, house walls, trees, shrubs and privacy screens. Multi-level decks can provide deck areas that are low enough for privacy but still provide access to the house. Deck railings, low benches and container plants can work together to soften the deck perimeter and create a sense of enclosure.