Feb 27

Big Deck Design Tips from Trex

Multi-Level Trex Deck

We learned last week about the rise of deck sizes in recent years.

Here are some of Trex’s tips for designing a big deck!

Think in layers.

Decks—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.

Capture the curves.

Flexible composite decking 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.

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 and lining the perimeter with built-in seating.

Create drama.

Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor. Incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner. And don’t be shy about mixing materials on a big deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof, or a granite countertop on a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.

Proportions matter.

An 1,800-square-foot deck on the back of a 2,000-square-foot home is probably too big to “go” with that house. Size up within reason.

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. Any shade structure should be as low-maintenance as the deck itself.

Consider the view.

If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take 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, an under-deck gutter will catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.

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 techs to walk around it.

Make it useful.

Include heat and light so you can use their deck after dark and all year round. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.

Which tip is your favorite? Let us know on our Facebook page!

This article has been slightly adjusted from its original version. Want the full version? Just email us!


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