Here at Archadeck of Central SC homeowners often ask us how big we feel their deck design should be. The answer to this question is solely dependent on what you and your family want to use the space for, your budget and how the dynamics of the space will correlate with your existing home, lot and other outdoor structures. However, when size constraints are not an option, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of larger decks that function more like “outdoor rooms” than the traditional 10 x 12 decks of yesteryear, and here’s why…
You are probably familiar with the old saying “bigger is better,” right? As Americans, we generally assume this old saying rings true — hence our affinity for bigger cars, houses and yes, super-size fries. One of the biggest trends in deck design is their increase in size over recent years. However, this increase is not for some of the reasons that may first come to mind: for example, to show social status or to accommodate a larger family. The reasoning behind building larger decks is simple. It is because homeowners crave the same comforts and function outdoors that they have in their interior living space.
To gauge the benefits of choosing to go larger when designing your ideal deck space, look at it this way: ”in most cases, inside your home, you have a dining room, kitchen, living room and family room. Homeowners are requesting these same spaces be designed into their deck, with areas for dining, a sitting or socializing area, and of course a cooking area.” A recent article published by Remodeling Magazine points out that “the 200-square-foot deck is increasingly looking like a relic of the past as more homeowners push for more outdoor living space, and remodelers and builders are lining up to accommodate them.”
A large-scale deck design that encompasses the feel of an “outdoor living room” does take longer to plan, design and build as compared to the “typical” decks of the past. However, the benefits and extended function a larger, well-planned deck can provide are worth the additional time it takes to complete. Archadeck of Central SC custom designs each detail of our decks to cater to the individual function our customers seek. To get the most out of your deck, no matter how large, efficient and clever use of space is very important.
- Here are 10 ideas courtesy of Remodeling Magazine to ensure the best use of space when planning your dream deck:
#1) Think in layers – Not so long ago, decks both large and small used to be flat, square, single-surface spaces. But the larger the deck, the more it calls for curves, multiple levels, staircases, built-in seating, and railings.
#2) Capture the curves – Flexible composite decking allows for accentuation of the curves within a deck design and is a favorite among deck builders who are partial to curved surfaces, sidewalks and staircases, which can create an eye-catching segue between two levels of the deck.
#3) Move the eye along – Add a focal point or two to a large, empty span of deck by building a planter or fire pit in the middle or lining the perimeter with built-in seating. Adding a pergola to your deck is also a great way to create a focal point that will extend functionality.
#4) Create drama – Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor, often referred to as “picture framing.” You may also incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner; these methods are often seen with composite deck designs… And don’t be shy about mixing materials on your deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof or a granite countertop within a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.
#6) Add some shade – A homeowner who springs for a 600-square-foot-plus deck is going to want to use it as often as possible. A pergola, awning, canopy or roof over the deck will allow the client to cook, entertain or relax outdoors even on hot, sunny days or during rain showers. Keep in mind any shade structure should be as low-maintenance as the deck itself.
#7) Be prepared to wait a little longer– It takes a while to build a big deck. Especially if the outdoor room is full of custom features or will be home to electric or gas appliances, the job will include an electrician, a plumber and the local building inspector. If the deck includes multiple tiers, the builder might need to consult with an engineer or architect.
#8) Consider the view – If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take special care with the placement of the posts so they’re not too close to doors and windows, where they can block the homeowner’s view and path to the yard. Also, build in an under-deck gutter to catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.
#9) Leave enough room – Even a big deck can run out of room if the design includes a hot tub. A typical 7-by-7-foot spa takes up at least a 10-by-10-foot space so there’s enough room around it for a railing, a privacy screen or a path for bathers and maintenance technicians to walk around it in order to gain access in the event of scheduled maintenance or repairs on your spa or hot tub.
#10) Make it useful – Include warmth and light so you can use your deck after dark and during at least three seasons. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.
So, to answer the question “is a bigger deck better,” it all depends on your individual needs and personal tastes. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely, bigger is better!
Contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about our unforgettable deck and outdoor room designs today! You may call us at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our design consultation is free, but what you gain in outdoor living enjoyment is priceless!