InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.
Deck design-build project advice for good deck design:
This article discusses how to match the style of the deck to the existing building, how to consider traffic flow on and off of the deck, lining the deck up with existing house features, and planning a deck to allow for later enclosure as a screened porch or even a three-season room.
This article series describes deck design-build project details for do-it-yourself deck builders.
The paradox of design, in most cases, is that the better it is, the less it is noticed. Good design results in a deck that looks like an organic part of its environment.
A poorly designed deck, on the other hand, can be highly visible, if unpleasant, addition that diminishes the house to which it is joined. Try to research some proven design tips that can simplify your planning and better ensure a deck that meets expectations.
Match the Deck to the House
The best way to make your deck look like an integrated part of the house is to begin, as all good designers begin, by taking cues from what already exists.
The railings and posts for the proposed deck, for example, should mimic similar elements at house entries and on porches. Maintain a reasonable scale between the deck and the house: smaller decks for smaller houses, higher decks for taller houses, and so forth.
On older, traditional houses, wood decks can look somewhat out of place; consider using brick or stone for the support posts. You can also replace a solid wood railing with a more “transparent” type of railing material, or keep the deck low enough to avoid needing a railing.
Control Traffic - consider how people move on and off of a deck
A new deck can substantially alter the way in which people move in and through your house. Plan the deck to direct foot traffic where you want it. Placing the deck next to the kitchen makes it easier to move food and dishes back and forth. Setting the same deck so that it can be entered only from the living room, on the other hand, could lead to dirty carpets and regular disruption of TV viewing.
Consider the transition from the inside of your house to the outside. Wide French or sliding glass doors make the outdoors look inviting and also make the interior expand psychologically. When existing doors just do not seem to work for the planned deck, consider adding a new one in the ideal location.
Stay in Line - keep deck lines matched to the existing structure and its features
A good designer studies the lines of a house, and then tries to match the lines of the new deck to them. A house’s lines are defined by vertical items such as chimneys, porch columns, and corners, and horizontal elements such as porch railings, eaves, and the alignment of windows and doors.
Also look for ways to align the corners of the deck with comers or bump-outs in the house. Use irregularities in the house facade to justify incorporating angles into your deck design.
Design the Deck Today to Permit an Enclosed Porch or Sunroom Tomorrow
While decks satisfy many people’s needs, other people grow weary of dodging raindrops or sitting in the sun and swatting mosquitoes. You may want to consider building a deck now that could be turned into a screened porch later, a conversion that will be much easier if it is planned for in advance.
Porches with roofs require bigger footings than uncovered decks, for example, so you might want to pour bigger footings now. Also consider how the porch roof will connect with the house. To be sure this kind of advance planning pays off; consult an architect or a structural engineer.
Continue reading at DECK DESIGN TIPS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
 Steve Bliss's Building Advisor at buildingadvisor.com helps homeowners & contractors plan & complete successful building & remodeling projects: buying land, site work, building design, cost estimating, materials & components, & project management through complete construction. Email: email@example.com
Steven Bliss served as editorial director and co-publisher of The Journal of Light Construction for 16 years and previously as building technology editor for Progressive Builder and Solar Age magazines. He worked in the building trades as a carpenter and design/build contractor for more than ten years and holds a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Excerpts from his recent book, Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, Wiley (November 18, 2005) ISBN-10: 0471648361, ISBN-13: 978-0471648369, appear throughout this website, with permission and courtesy of Wiley & Sons. Best Practices Guide is available from the publisher, J. Wiley & Sons, and also at Amazon.com
 Mark Morsching, Everflashing, Tel: 800-550-1667, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Everflashing product comes in G-185 and Stainless Steel and is intended for use with treated lumber with copper in it. Everflashing produces a variety of specialty flashing products including flashings for use with decks at deck ledgers and deck perimeters.
 Claudia Hudson, Asheville NC, Tel: 828-252-0644
Email: email@example.com . Ms. Hudson is an SEO copyrighter / content writer. She has provided background research and text for InspectApedia's articles on deck and porch construction methods & procedures. April 2013.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones