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10 Tips for Deck Placement
If you’re in the planning stages of building a new deck, you have a lot of things to consider. Who will build it, what materials you’ll use, how big it will be, etc. With so much going on, you may forget one of the most critical factors of deck building — location. Although very important, many homeowners don’t put much thought into placement until it’s too late. A deck is an extension of your home. Make sure you love everything about it. Keep in mind the following 10 factors before beginning your next decking project.
What is The Deck For?
The first and most crucial factor to consider when selecting a location for your deck is its purpose. What will your deck be used for? Will it be used for dining and outdoor entertaining? If that is the primary purpose, then you need to consider building off of your kitchen. Is it for relaxation, meditation, or reading? In that case, you’ll want to choose the location with minimal distractions, perhaps off of a bedroom or living room.
Size of Your Home
Most builders suggest that your deck should be no larger than 20 percent of the house’s square footage. This is so that the deck does not overwhelm a home visually. This, of course, is up to you. If you feel you need a larger deck that takes up more of your yard space, feel free. There may be less to mow and more to enjoy.
Access From the House
More an extension of your home, a great outdoor deck should be easy to access. For pools, some prefer to have their decks far away from the house. This helps to avoid water in the home, etc. But for those who wish to use their deck for entertaining and relaxation, having access from home is most definitely a better choice.
Regulations, Codes, and Permits
As with most remodeling projects, you’ll need to obtain a permit before you begin building. You’ll also need to check local building codes, regulations and restrictions.
Lot restrictions may limit how close your deck can be to your neighbors’ property. The location of a well, septic tank or drain field may also affect where you place your deck in relation to your home.
You are also required to contact your local utility company to identify the locations of underground lines. Buried cables will affect where you place your footings, while overhead cables may interfere with a sunshade.
Backyards are the most recommended and popular places for decks for a reason, privacy. Really, who wants to have neighbors looking on while they’re sunning or enjoying a hot tub? Besides building in the backyard, many homeowners like to ensure their privacy by installing privacy screens, a lattice trellis or bamboo curtains.
If your property has excellent views, you will want to install your deck in a place that does not obstruct them. You may also consider placing your seating in a location where you can best enjoy the views.
Where you place the deck also determines where it will end. You’ll want it to blend in with the yard as seamlessly as possible. To accomplish this, try using transitional materials to bridge your deck to the yard. Stones, pavers and bricks are a very popular choice for this step. For the more adventurous, a deck-and-patio combination is also a fluid choice.
In the deck and backyard world, landscaping is everything. That being said, there are several landscaping features that you need to consider, trees for instance. Trees add shade, block the wind, and bring a natural ambiance to a space. For this reason, positioning your deck in a place that your existing tree(s) can be of benefit is ideal. Flowers, shrubs, and fountains can also be used to further enhance the aesthetics of your tranquil backyard escape.
Sun & Heat
Summer is when most people enjoy their decks. It is also the hottest time of the year. This is why you should also consider the intensity of the sun when selecting the location of your deck. If you live in a warmer climate, choose a place that provides shade during the peak sun hours. Similarly, decks built-in cool climates should be placed in a location where the sun is most intense during the hours it is intended for use.
Strong winds can ruin a deck party. Not only can they destroy patio umbrellas, but they can also blow cups, plates and just about any other lightweight item into the air. For this reason, it is a good idea to check which areas of your yard are exposed the most wind before you install your deck. If the perfect spot for your deck happens to be in a particularly gusty area, you may want to consider a wall or high fence to help block the wind. Ask your contractor or deck builder for advice on dealing with this issue.
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