A deck is a valuable asset in your life. Not only can a beautifully made deck create a focal point in your backyard and increase the return on investment down the road, but, it will give you a much-needed outlet to increase the value of your leisure time as well. Decks have come a long way in recent years. The decks of yesteryear were merely a small wooden platform surrounded by a railing where two webbed chairs, a patio table and a couple of tiki torches sufficed every evening for summertime outdoor living. These days, decks are much more elaborate, come in a host of materials, as well as designs, and may or may not, even be attached to your home.
In recent years, as people muddled through the financial crisis and downturn in the economy, not to mention the high gasoline prices, it became clear that travel abroad, or to exotic locales, or, even across the U.S.A., was put on hold. A “staycation” became a buzzword in the vocabulary as well as a way of life. To enhance those stay-at-home holidays, the family often settled for a new pool, or enhancements to the home, that is, if the family budget permitted such amenities.
Suddenly, homeowners discovered it was not so bad hanging out at home, especially when you had some wonderful features added to your backyard such as a pool, spa or outside kitchen. You had a go-to place to relax and no more slaving over the stove on a hot summer’s day. Even in a cold-weather state, homeowners could enjoy their backyard even in the cooler months after adding a fireplace or a fire pit for added warmth. So today’s patio has become multi-functional. And if you are pleased with the patio, and simply want to add a rustic look to your yard, with the benefit of a place to unwind and get together with friends and family, why not consider adding a deck to your backyard décor bucket list? It seems that with a little imagination, and an expert home remodeling contractor in Hamilton, NJ, a beautiful deck can go from a dream to a reality.
Trends in backyard decks
Along with the fun and frivolity of a pool or spa, or even an outdoor kitchen, the deck is quickly becoming a mainstay to the home. Here is what today’s homeowners are clamoring for as to deck design.
- Larger decks allow for bigger gatherings – The size for today’s decks might equal the home’s square footage and may even include sections designated specifically for grilling, eating, extra seating, storage and/or planters. Deck designers are now using pergolas and walls for privacy, especially when an area of the deck is relegated for spa use or a sundeck specifically for sunning.
- Ambiance aplenty – The deck is a hoppin’ place during the day, but it shouldn’t just shut down once the fireflies come out. Today’s decks and surrounding areas aim for ambiance after dark by utilizing low-voltage lighting that is wired right into the posts and steps of the deck. This will add a soft mood glow to match the moonlight, plus ensure the safety of those on or near the deck.
- Outdoor entertainment is a breeze - Today’s decks may be loaded with more than the kettle-style BBQ grill, or even the modern propane grill, because the big trend is outdoor kitchen areas. Whether that outdoor kitchen is confined to a paver brick patio, or on the deck, those modern kitchen accoutrements become the focal point of your entertainment area. And, you’ll have no worries about how your deck additions will fare after being outside through a moist or humid Summer, because the outside grill, cooktop surface, cabinets, countertops, fridges and sinks, all are impervious to the elements. Even the tables and chairs, with their air of sophistication are made of indestructible and weather-resistant materials.
- Maintenance – what maintenance? – Though you might be a purist and insist on the traditional wood decking materials, there are other mediums available these days that will free you from the pesky maintenance chores of a wooden deck, thus giving you additional down time with family and friends. The trend is to use composite decking materials, a popular idea for those who embrace “going green”. The faux wood is very realistic looking and consists of recycled plastic and wood fibers with virtually no maintenance. A quick swabbing with soap and water will keep it clean and you need to perform periodic checks for mildew issues in areas which receive no sunlight. This is due to the actual wood fibers which comprise this medium.
- Deck underlayment – For two-story decks or one-story decks that reach high above the ground, using underlayment has become a popular trend. Underlayment simply means, creating an extra patio or outdoor living space underneath the deck. This makes the formerly unused or “dead space” beneath the deck more attractive as well Paver bricks or landscaping around the area may be used for runoff from water or snow to keep the lumber from warping. The deck surface above thus becomes the ceiling or covering for the patio or porch underneath it.
- Landscaping – The trending look these days is for landscaping around the deck so that the natural look of the backyard is preserved and the outdoor living area is not simply deck and patio, especially since deck design trends tend to be sleeker looking. Some homeowners like to use a platform deck, not connected to the house, but instead amidst the landscaping in their backyard. This gives a more natural look to the backyard and focuses on beautiful flower gardens, or, perhaps a pretty pathway made from paver bricks. Still others like to include a gazebo or spa on the platform deck out in the yard.
An experienced exterior remodeling contractor can help you pick the design and size which best suits your personality, your backyard space and your budget. Why not plan to call one today?