Eight Unique Deck Features


Building a deck can be a challenge. And I don't just mean that it can be difficult to build. Finding a happy medium between deck square footage, accessories and features can be tough enough, let alone trying to keep it all within budget. But no matter what features you choose for your deck, it's always wise to hire a professional deck contractor and to do as much research about deck styles, design, features and accessories so that your deck is exactly the way you want it, long before you ever break ground. Use one or all of these eight unique deck features in your deck design for the ultimate in style, luxury and comfort.

Water Features

One of the more common deck features, the water garden can be as simple as a small cooper basin with a drip fountain or as complex as a built in stream and waterfall. Waterfalls, ponds and streams are a great way to get a relaxing and tranquil effect without going overboard on costs. Many budget friendly water features can be easily installed by a pond contractor or by the homeowner themselves. Once a simple filtration system has been installed, water quality will stay clean and clear with very little maintenance allowing you to spend your hours enjoying the water feature and not hours working on it.

Clear Balusters

Why settle for boring, bland and basic balusters when you can have ones you can't even see at all? Balusters are used to prevent people, pets, children or anything that's bigger than four inches from going over the edge or through the railing. But they also prevent you from having a clear view, especially when you're sitting down. A clear glass or acrylic baluster can provide your deck with the protection you need without inhibiting the beautiful views from your deck.

Fire Features

A cozy and warm retreat during the evening hours, a romantic place to relax or a fun time with the family roasting marshmallows, a fire feature on the deck is the ultimate in warmth and comfort on a cold night. Fire features range from simple metal containers with an ash screen to the full-fledged brick fireplace complete with a handsome hearth and solid oak mantle. Fire features can be built in place or stand alone. Fuels used range from the basic charcoal and wood burning fireplace to natural gas open flames. No matter what fire feature you choose for your deck, it's sure be the focal point of your deck.

Outdoor Kitchen

There's nothing like enjoying a weekend with the family and barbecuing in the deck. But for those who really like to use their grill as a complete kitchen, the outdoor kitchen is a great investment. Basic setups include a built in grill and storage spaces. Complete outdoor kitchens can include refrigerators, ovens, sinks and even dishwashers. Because an outdoor kitchen is full of plumbing, electricity, gas and framing/block work, it's best installed by a licensed building contractor who can secure the correct permits and hire trusted subcontractors to complete the entire job.

Flush Mount Lighting

Lighting is an important feature of any deck. But more often than not, floodlights or low voltage landscaping lights are brought in to light up the deck. By planning ahead for lighting, you can set up the best design in advance and ensure your deck is well lit; exactly where you need it most. In-deck and flush mount deck lights are the perfect choice for deck lighting because it can be placed exactly where you need either ambient or task lighting sources. And because they are flush mountable, they are out of the way and everywhere at the same time. Flush mount lights work well on stairs, steps and anywhere else you need instant out of the way lighting.

Deck Board Pattern

Your deck boards can be more than just a series of planks placed together, one against each other in a mundane pattern. A rosette, compass or other unique pattern can be a slick way to create a focal point for your outdoor room on the cheap. Using existing materials, designs like herringbone, center rosettes and even curving patterns can be achieved using just about any decking material available. With just a few more extra decking materials, an amazing one of a kind pattern can easily be created to transform any decking surface into an eye catching work of art.

Hot Tub

For the ultimate in outdoor relaxation, a hot tub can be the perfect getaway without having to leave home. Hot tubs come in a wide variety of sizes, prices and setups. Basic systems include a four person above deck tub with a completely self-contained filtration system. Higher end hot tubs include flush mountable tubs complete with lighting, jet circulation and even counter current swimming treadmills. A plumbing contractor and electrician may be both required to hook up some hot tub systems. Always check with the manufacturer before you buy to find out exactly who it takes to hook up your deck hot tub.


The classic arbor or pagoda is one with decorative columns and lavish beams supporting ornate joists. The open roof allows for sunlight to penetrate onto the deck below. More often than not, climbing vines and flowers are set to run up the trellis and onto the arbor to create a gorgeous natural roof. While an arbor isn't designed to prevent water from entering the deck, sunlight and shadows are cast, allowing a perfect escape from the hot part of the deck in direct sunlight.

Arbors can be bought from the factory direct or built on site. Wooden arbors are best built by an on-site building contractor, while metal arbors are best shipped in direct from the factory. No matter what type of arbor you purchase, be sure it is directly attached to the structure of your deck and not just the planking. When strong wind gusts and bad weather occurs, arbors can easily become victim to devastation from powerful winds and storms. Always call your local building department first to ensure all wind and uplift codes are followed when installing any arbor or pagoda.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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