If you’re planning a deck build this spring, there are a number of factors to consider. From size and layout to materials and special features, it’s important to think through everything you want in a deck before you schedule a build.

In other words, there’s a lot more to planning a deck build than you’d think! But don’t fret, we’ve compiled a list of steps to take now if you’re planning to have a deck built this spring or summer.


1. Set Your Budget

Before you get too far into the planning process, it’s a good idea to determine how much you’re willing to spend on your deck project.

The cost to build any deck depends primarily on the cost of design, size, materials, and labor. 

When it comes to labor, you can choose to DIY your deck or hire a pro. While DIY-ing may save you money in the short term, it can also limit your choices based on your skillset and time constraints. Working with a skilled contractor helps ensure your deck meets your aesthetic preferences and is built to code (and it can save you a lot of time and energy!).

The cost of your deck will also be affected by whether or not you need pre-work such as tearing down an existing deck or landscaping to prep the building area. You’ll want to factor in any additional features you want as well, such as a pergola or built-in seating.

Need help estimating what your dream deck will cost you? Call us for an estimate!


2. Determine Location

Most people choose to build their deck right next to their home (typically off the kitchen or dining room), but that isn’t the only option. You could also build a detached deck in a different part of your yard. For example, if you have a corner with lots of shade or an area filled with beautiful gardens, adding a detached deck can help you create a natural getaway in that part of your yard.

When it comes to the overall layout of your yard, where you choose to place your deck should complement the rest of your yard and the surrounding environment.

It’s also a good idea to take a look at the terrain in the area you want to build your deck. If the ground is uneven or sloping, that could make your deck project a little more complex. In addition, if your soil is sandy, that could affect the stability of your deck. These things don’t make building a deck in that area impossible — it just might take a little more prep work to get the ground ready for your deck.


3. Decide on Size and Layout

Next, determine the size, shape, and layout of your deck. 

Think about how you’re planning to use the space — will you need room for a dining area, guest seating, or a secluded spot to enjoy some peace and quiet? These factors help determine the size and shape you need your deck to be. 

Consider the space you have and how to get the most use out of that space. Your deck should be large enough to comfortably fit all the activities you want to use it for as well as traffic flow in and around any outdoor furniture.

To get a sense of your deck’s potential size and how it will be situated in your yard, go outside to measure and mark off the area.

Short on space? Check out our blog on Deck Ideas for Small Yards!


4. Choose Decking Materials

You’ll also need to decide what type of materials you want your deck built with. Each type of material has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to decide what is most important to you. 

When making your decision, don’t forget to consider both up-front cost as well as the cost of maintenance and repairs over the long term. You’ll also want to think about the architectural style of your home and make sure the deck materials you choose will complement the overall look of your home.

Most homeowners choose one of the following options for their deck:

  • Pressure-treated wood: Wood decks tend to be lower in cost than composite, and are both durable and customizable. Wood can be easily stained or painted to match your home. On the other hand, wood decks require more labor-intensive maintenance than composite decks do. You’ll need to routinely pressure-wash and re-stain or paint your deck to keep it in good condition.
  • Composite decking: Made from a combination of recycled plastic and wood fibers, composite decking is highly weather- and stain-resistant and extremely durable. It’s also resistant to scratching, pests, and warping, and is easy to maintain. Although it typically costs more than wood decking, composite is easy to clean and doesn’t need to be stained or sealed. At Outdoor Solutions, we offer both Trex and TimberTech composite decking.
  • Plastic Lumber Decking: Plastic lumber is made of a combination of recycled and virgin plastics. It’s highly stain-, decay-, scratch-, pest-, and moisture-resistant, and, like composite, is easy to care for. It can be easily cleaned with soap and water. We carry Azek plastic decking, which is engineered to imitate the beauty of wood.

As you consider the type of materials you want for your deck, don’t forget about railings. Railings are typically made of the same material as your decking, but not always — for example, some homeowners opt for metal or glass railings. 


5. Consider Special Features

Finally, think about any special features you’d like to include in your deck build, such as lighting, seating, or a covering (such as a pergola).

Make note of any weather elements at play. For example, if the area you’re planning to build your deck in gets a lot of bright sun, adding an awning or pergola can help provide some shade on hot summer days.

Think about how you’ll light your deck as well, such as path lighting near stairs and railings, sconces on deck posts, or string lights along railings or hanging from a pergola.

Consider the furniture you want on your deck, and whether you’ll need extra seating in the form of built-in benches. Deciding where you’re planning to place dining or lounge areas will also help you determine where you’ll need lighting, awnings, or other built-ins.


Want Help Planning Your Deck? Give the Outdoor Solutions Team a Call!

At Outdoor Solutions, not only can we build the deck of your dreams, we can help you design it! Our expert team can help you determine the size, shape, location, materials, and special features you’ll need to make your deck your own. We can also give you an estimate and help you determine what you can do within the budget you’ve set.

If you’re planning a deck build this spring, we’d love to help! Contact us today to get started.