Backyards are a place to relax and get creative. There are many ways to create a backyard worth spending time in, but one way to create your own outdoor space is through a deck. They can add a unique look to your backyard and add usable square footage outside the home.
With all the deck styles and designs available, it may be hard to choose what is best for your yard. From large to small, there are many ideas that can give your yard a unique look. Here are a few ideas to think about when deciding on a backyard deck.
Patio vs. Deck
Before deciding on a deck, make sure you’re not envisioning a patio in your space. These two are often confused because they both create outdoor space between the yard and your home. Patios can be made out of a variety of materials and are built at ground level. Decks are typically attached to the home in some way and are raised above ground level. To learn more about their differences, see “What’s The Difference Between A Patio & A Deck.”
Deck Height Options
As stated before, decks are not typically flush with the ground like patios are. But when it comes to the height, you should consider how you want it to look and your surroundings. If you’re close to your neighbors, you might want to have the privacy of a grade-level deck, only a few inches off the ground. If you have a beautiful view from your home, a raised deck might be a good option. According to the International Code Council, decks over 30” must have a guardrail at least 36” high. Check local codes as well, as many regulations vary city by city.
What your deck is made out of can add to the look and feel of your deck. Traditionally, wood has been used to build a deck. But now, many options exist if you want to try a new, modern style. Materials come in many colors and textures. Here are popular types of deck materials.
- Aluminum Decking
- Cedar Decking
- Composite Decking
- Mahogany Decking
- Plastic Decking
- Redwood Decking
- Synthetic Wood Decking
- Trex Decking
- Teak Decking
Be mindful of the maintenance needed for the type of material you choose. Wooden decks, in particular, need to be sealed at least once a year.
Backyard Deck Designs
Once you’ve decided your materials and height, it’s time to start envisioning what it will look like in your backyard. Decks provide many options to create a customized outdoor living space.
The shape of a deck is versatile to what you want for your home and the space available in your yard. That is why decks can be a perfect addition to your small backyard, adding the illusion of more space to utilize.
Traditionally, decks are in square or rectangle form, meeting with the corner of a house. But if you’re leaning towards a more modern look, try a rounder shape or an elaborate s-shape to create a unique look. Also, consider adding different levels to your deck to create areas with different purposes. If you have a small backyard, creating a deck with multiple levels will give you more space to utilize.
When you’re enjoying your deck mid-summer, consider installing some sort of shade to keep you from the sun. Your options include:
If you know you’ll need a permanent shade solution, awnings are a great option, come in various styles and truly make your deck feel like a room outdoors. Aluminum awnings are lightweight, affordable and can come in retractable varieties.
Fabric awnings are trendy and luxurious, and can truly be customizable depending on what fabric you choose. Many fabric awnings are retractable as well. Keep in mind, however, if you’re leaning towards a fabric option, they need to be replaced every five years as they are prone to fading.
If you are looking for partial-shade and want to keep the outdoorsy feel, a pergola is right for you. This is a very stylish focal point to your deck and will help deflect the bright sun while you enjoy your space. The average cost of a pergola is between $2,000 and $15,000 depending on the size and material used. If you want to dress up your pergola a bit more, try adding a fabric or canvas between rafters for to keep your deck stylish and shady.
For a temporary option, a portable canopy or tent is a good investment to seek shade when you need it. Canopies come in a variety of styles and colors, so you can find one that matches your décor. They’re easy to set up and move around. Put it over the table during lunch and move to the sitting area to enjoy the afternoon without the heat of the afternoon sun.
Ready to Build
Once you have your vision ready, it’s time to build your deck. Building a deck safely and to the specifics you desire typically takes the work of a pro. They can ensure that the deck is built correctly, especially if it’s above ground. Check your local codes to see what is required and get any building permits necessary.
A deck can be a beautiful addition to any backyard. There are many options available to truly make it a custom piece for your home. Be sure to research all your options and specifically plan out what you desire. Having a plan will guarantee you have a backyard deck design you’ll love.
Creating a budget for your new deck? See “How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck” to help your financial plans.