It’s pretty simple actually. Design and build a treated lumber deck or composite lumber deck based on the types of activities planned for the outdoor living space. But a good rule of thumb is that you should not exceed twenty-percent of the home's interior square footage. Take time to consider how your family will spend time enjoying the deck, because if you build an expansive deck that’s too big you’ve wasted money on unnecessary material and space that won’t be used. And conversely, if you build a deck that’s too small, it’s going to cost even more to add on to the existing structure. Your goal should be to build a deck that suits your lifestyle just right and fits within your building budget.
If you plan to host dinner parties consider building a separate section where a table with plenty of seating will fit. If an outdoor kitchen is in the plans you’ll want to make sure it’s positioned near the dining area for easy access. Keep relaxation and reading areas simple with smaller spaces. And for adding a raised fire pit area, a cozy round deck space works great—size of this area will vary, but should be large enough to host friends and family. This deck area should allow for guests to move around while not getting too close to the hot surface of the raised fire pit.
Reviewing deck plans on paper my be hard to understand, so consider laying out the space to get comfortable with its shape and size. Use a tape measure and some spray paint to layout the design's outline. You can also arrange furniture within the outline to help you visualize how the space will be used. Do this to help determine if you need to adjust the plan.
If you're planning on designing and building the treated lumber deck or composite lumber deck area yourself, I recommend consulting with a building professional, landscape designer and before any footings are poured.
Use deck design software or the FREE online deck visualization tool from Deckorators to help conceptualize your space. Get inspired by viewing photos of decks from past Deckorators best deck contests.