Top 5 Tips for Simple DIY Deck Designs


You enjoy the warm weather and love spending time in the backyard. All that's missing is a comfortable outdoor living space with room for a patio set and your gourmet grill. An ideal project to practice your skills, it helps to remember certain aspects ensuring stellar and successful DIY deck designs.

1) Design Big

Even though it will mean more work for you, don't skimp on size. At the bare minimum you'll need enough room for a generous patio table set (at least 12 foot x 12 foot) and plenty of space for traffic flow. Find out how close you can get to your property lines by contacting the local municipality and inquiring about building codes and any applicable zoning.

Although multi-level decks are flashy and impressive, they aren't the best DIY deck designs. Opt instead for a larger surface on a single level, creating more usable space and easier framing.

2) Design With an Open Feeling

If you are building a ground level deck, consider whether or not to leave off the railing. Instead, design for stairs that wrap around the decking surface. It may be a little tricky to frame in the steps, but the design will provide a more open feel in the yard and save you time and money on railing construction.

Walkout or second storey decks don't have this option. You could go with tempered glass railing installed in a wood frame and achieve nearly the same open look. Be careful handling the glass and don't order the materials until you have the framing measurements exactly right. (It's better to wait two weeks and receive glass panels that fit exactly, than to get the wrong size and need to fiddle extensively with your railing frame.)

3) Design for a Seamless Look

The best DIY deck designs take every detail into account. Be sure that you don't leave off important aspects of your finished deck, such as skirting. This is the boards or barriers that close in the gap under your deck framing, running from the outer frame to the ground. On a second storey or walkout level deck, this isn't an issue and you can easily leave the space open. On a ground level or close to grade deck design, closing that space has visual and practical appeal.

Not only does skirting look good and provide a complete picture, but it deters critters from hiding out under your deck and generally keeps the area tidier. Use lattice for easy application or install 1x6 fence board pieces running vertically and nailed to the back of the outer ring joist.

4) Design With Style In Mind

Just because you're building the deck yourself doesn't mean you need to settle for a plain Jane design. With a little spark and flash, your deck can be unique and reflect your personality. Add angled deck board for a nice touch - nail or screw the boards at a 45 degree angle and assume you'll need about 10% more deck boards than you would for straight application.

Cutting off the corners or designing with an interesting shape are also options. Cut corners are simply framed at a 45 degree angle and custom shapes are easy if planned out well. Take your time. Once the framing is laid out, the balance of the deck is straightforward.

5) Design for Low Maintenance

Less maintenance has more appeal than ever in today's busy world. Opting for low care products such as composite lumber or vinyl decking can save you time. They do cost a fair bit more, but when your DIY deck designs are saving money on labor you may be in a better position to invest in these products.

Even pressure treated wood is considered low maintenance, since it doesn't require any staining or additional preservation. Research your options and design for low maintenance to free up time for more outdoor living enjoyment.

With these DIY deck designs tips you can be confident that the finished project will end up as something to be proud of and a place the whole family will enjoy.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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