Why not let your floorplan continue outdoors? A sweeping deck will expand your square footage, traffic flow, and make a personal statement. All you need is an imagination, a dream, a budget, and professional deck designer and builder.
Moving the house outdoors
The type of deck that makes a statement, that expands and enhances your living space, and that adds value to your house takes more imagination than a rectangle redwood add-on.
Author John Rhia, writing for Houselogic, asserts, “Adding a deck to your home is one of the most worthwhile of all home improvement projects. One of the reasons that a deck is such a good investment is because it increases living area at a minimal cost per square foot.”
Design a dream.
Forget the simple rectangle. Think about curves and tiers. A good plan can divide the deck into purposed areas: one for lounging and sunbathing, one for dining, another area for play, and so on. It doesn’t take so much area as it does imagination.
According to Deck Remodelers President Sean McAleer recommends finding an outdoor deck builder who “begins by surveying the landscape’s highpoints, learning the homeowner’s vision and then creating from the ground up an outdoor living space that not only fits the home’s architecture, but also accents the client’s lifestyle.”
Designers are creating outdoor kitchens, conversation pits, steps up and steps down. Perhaps, it you think of the flow you would need for a nice party with a section for bar service and cocktails, another for sitting for social talk, and another for dinner.
Almost any space can be divided and accentuated with railings, built-in storage and seating, and coverings with awnings, market umbrellas, or pergola ceilings. Any space can be improved with decorative or architectural lighting.
Picture the options.
Materials can make all the difference in design appearance, budget, and texture. Wooden decking can support tile and stone features, comfortable furniture in complementary or contrasting materials and color, and vary color and design textures.
Natural woods remain popular.
Cedar gives that natural warm look you have some to expect in decking. It resists moisture naturally, so it remains straight and flat. It has a 15-20 year lifespan, but it will deteriorate in deep shade or at ground level.
You must clean and reseal cedar annually to save its rich color. And, it is soft and can damage at the edges and under steady wear and tear. Cedar prices moderately.
Pressure-treated wood is cheaper.
Easy to stain, economic, and long lasting, pressure-treated wood resists abuse enough to warrant lifetime guarantees. Cheaper than cedar, the most inexpensive treated wood may shrink and twist as moisture evaporates.
Treated wood labeled “Select” costs more per linear foot, but it comes with straighter grain and fewer knots. Kiln-dried before and after treatment, they are less likely to warp and twist.
Composite decking is the go-to option.
Composite decking boards are made from processed recycled plastic and sawdust or wood chips. The more expensive option it does not splinter, rot, or twist. It comes in a choice of colors that last evenly except in deep damp shade. You can stain it once it sets up to six months. It can be placed in angles and arcs to add to design texture. And, you can clean it with a spray of the garden hose. Adding composite decks is comparable to adding designer bathroom sinks to your home.
And, Consumer Reports offers a Deck Buying Guide recommending, “Many of the synthetic products are available in colors like white, gray, and several shades of brown. Surface textures include smooth (like plastic lawn furniture, in some cases), subtle wood grain, ridges, and other decidedly non-wood like patterns. Some composite planks are flexible enough to be easily curved into patterns or shapes that would be expensive to duplicate in solid wood.”
So, dream a little, research a little, and pick a pro designer and contractor to move your house outdoors.
Michael F. Carroll
Title: Freelance writer at OutreachMama
Mike is a freelance contributor to OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.