Decking Designs for Your Outdoor Living Space

The best way to update any backyard or patio area is with a beautiful and functional deck. With the numerous decking designs available, consumers can pick just the right design for their particular needs. Since the last century homeowners have known the advantages of having attractive and durable decking as a part of their outside landscaping. Being able to use the areas surrounding a home in an enjoyable and relaxing way is a most desirable way to take advantage of your property.  Combine the right type of flooring with one of the varieties of deck canopies to get the best of the sun and shade.  Deck design ideas that include these elements will be much more useful for more of the year.

Many different deck ideas exist from which to choose.  Wooden decking which has been around for many decades is both beautiful and affordable. The wood for decking that is manufactured in these modern times is pre-treated to be weather resistant and can last many years before needing a touch up. Any wood will need to be treated occasionally to help it retain a natural beauty. Cedar which is extremely durable and beautiful, is naturally weather resistant and weathers to a nice silver gray appearance.  Mahogany with proper oiling can last as many as 40 years and is also very popular among consumers. Most homeowners wish for a truly distinctive look and by staining a wooden deck in one of the many beautiful colors, a unique and original customized design can be created. This can easily be completed over a weekend, by the homeowner, making it even more affordable.  We’ll talk about this in a bit, but combining a deck with a pergola can be a great way to go as well.

Here is a smaller deck design with a patio umbrella and swing chair in the background.

Composite decking has been on the forefront of modern technology in the last twenty years. This material has been boasted not to rot; however, this is still under debate within the industry. A mixture of wood pulp and materials such as plastic resins, this type of decking is considered low maintenance, not maintenance free as once thought. For those who are concerned about the environment they will need to consider the chemicals used in manufacturing the product and also used in preserving it. As with any deck, it may become scratched and worn looking after several years, but with a little effort can be restored.

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Trex™ decking is both stunning in design and probably one of the best selling products when speaking of composite decking. An industry leader, Trex™ has many deck plans including, a raised deck with a staircase, a townhouse deck, dual decks with dual staircases and many more. A best selling product is the Artisan Series, which is constructed of a texturized PVC composite material that is nice to the touch. Trex™ also specializes in unique designs such as leafs, vines and star bursts.

Another brand is the AZEK™ PVC decking boards.  AZEK™ claims to have even more ong-lasting performance than other competitors in the composite industry.  Their styles also come in a variety of colors, have embossed patterns that mimic the look and feel of real wood grain, have excellent mold and mildew resistance and are slip resistant.  They are also maintenance-free, besides occasional washing with some soapy water.  With just this little bit of upkeep, your composite decking will last you for many years.

On the other hand, does anything look quite as nice as a built in wooden bench constructed of red cedar, ipe or even a stained pine. Ipe (pronounced ‘ee-pay’) is an exotic hardwood that is being harvested from areas of Central and South America and is becoming increasingly popular. If you are considering these types of woods, you may wish to consider the environmental impact or how or if they are being harvested sustainably.

Pergola Deck Designs

Just a simple raised deck; you can see one post of the pergola in the back right.

As mentioned previously, there are also patio deck designs that incorporate aspects of the pergola into the construction.  So, this might look like a pergola that is built on top of the deck or a part of the structure, coming up from the floor or ground.  There are other models where the pergola is attached to the house and simply extends over the deck area.

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Spaces constructed specifically to allow for cozy seating designed away from the high traffic areas are much sought after. A customized pergola designed over a hot tub can provide privacy from prying eyes from above while still allowing for a feeling of openness. A patio fireplace which is sunken into the deck floor offers a unique style and those with a green thumb can enjoy a nice patio garden or built in planters.

Two Level Deck Designs

Another dramatic look if you have the space is to have a two-tiered deck.  Just like with a tiered landscape design, the multiple levels give more dimension and depth to your patio or deck area.  You can connect the two levels with stairs or have them as separate spaces.  There are even decks that utilize various composite materials to create different effects on each level.  The design is only limited by your imagination – and building codes and budgets!

Deck designs entail everything from deck railings, barbecue areas to pool areas and even dramatic and sweeping entrance stairs. Lighting is an important aspect to consider and should include a variety of lighting to suit a variety of needs.  This could include deck lights for a stairways and certain outdoor lighting options to enhance your landscaping features. Modern decks include many distinctive elements that when brought together can reflect each individual homeowners’ taste. Whether your patio ideas include teak, composite or PVC, there are a variety of decking designs to create the one of your dreams.

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