The design process is the most enjoyable part of building a deck, but it’s also the most important. You’ve got one big decision nailed down – choosing Redwood for a deck that has superior quality, strength and durability. Now it’s time to hammer out all the design details. Below we provide homeowners with a checklist of considerations that should be made during the deck design phase.
Should you need additional advice or design inspiration, please check out our free, interactive Deck Designer Tool. The tool makes designing a deck a snap with custom 3D models that can be saved and updated until you’ve got your deck design just right.
The first thing that needs to be decided is how much you plan to spend on your deck. Decks can vary greatly in price, usually from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $10,000. However, a deck is an improvement that provides one of the best returns on your investment. HGTV estimates that homeowners can get a return of around 76% from their deck. Likewise, Remodeling Magazine found that a deck adds an average of $8,835 to the value of a home.
When creating your budget, be sure to factor in the following costs:
- Permits from the city and possibly the HOA (if applicable)
- Materials (right down to the hardware)
- Labor (teardown/prep, construction and clean up)
Your outdoor space is the second most influential element of your deck design. Take a good look at your yard for the following:
- Trees and vegetation – will you need to work around them or cut them down?
- Ground level – if there’s a slope you’ll need to account for that during the design process.
- The size – how much space will the deck take up? Will there be a good balance of deck area to total yard area?
Deck Size and Shape
Your budget and property will greatly impact the size and shape of the deck you build. On average a deck costs $15 per square foot for pressure treated wood and up to $35 per square foot for high-end hardwoods. Decks that are less elaborate, with fewer levels that are lower to the ground will be more affordable. Refer to your budget to figure out how big a deck you can afford. The pros recommend keeping it to less than a third the size of your home.
The Deck Foundation
There are two primary types of deck foundation. Building a Redwood deck over concrete is a good option for those that already have an existing slab they want to cover up. These simple, cost-effective decks are typically built on or near the ground.
If you choose to build a free standing Redwood Deck you have free rein to decide where you want the deck to be and how high you want to build it. Free standing decks are built using concrete footings and posts so be sure to reference local building codes.
Your Deck Needs
Once you have all the logistics above figured out, you can start getting down to the details. There are three things to consider when you begin to fine-tune your deck design.
- Must Have Features. These are the extras that make your deck unique. Built-in seating, decorative railing, planters and outdoor kitchens are just some of the add-ons you can opt for. Be careful not to “bust your budget” with over-improvements.
- Privacy. If you have neighbors in close proximity, or want your deck to be a more intimate space, keep privacy in mind when designing your deck. The height of the levels will make a big difference in how visible your deck is.
- Entrances and Exits. The transition from the house to the deck should be a natural, easy one. It’s also best to factor in another entrance/exit from the deck to the yard.
When you build a deck with Humboldt Redwood the design options are nearly limitless. The Deck Designer Tool can help you put it all together so you can see it before you start to build it. No matter how your deck design turns out it’s sure to be a welcome addition that adds value and enjoyment to your home.