Today we are going to continue our series on deck repairs and building 101 for Houston homeowners by looking at the size and location of where your deck will be built and sharing with you an exercise that will make this easier for you to decide on. As always, if you would like the assistance of a professional deck builder in Houston, contact Emerson Home Exterior Enhancements.
The Right Size of Deck
One visual aspect of deck building Houston homeowners must consider is sizing. To help you choose the right size for your yard, you want to consider what you will put on your decks.
•Do you plan on just having a few lounge chairs, or do you want built-in seating?
•Do you want your deck to have space for outdoor dining with tables and chairs, or do you prefer a bar with stools?
•Do you want a grill or a kitchen with a small sink and refrigerator?
•Will the deck in your building need to be strong enough to hold the weight of an outdoor kitchen or ten-person hot tub?
Our experienced deck builders in Houston have a mathematical formula they use, so we wanted to share it. We suggest the deck be 20% of your home’s square footage. For example, the square footage of 2316 square feet home would have a deck built that is 462 square feet. If you follow this formula, your deck will be roughly the size of a two-car garage. Keep these ratios in mind so that when you have a shape you like, you can experiment with it being larger or smaller. You will soon see which size looks the best in proportion to the rest of your home and backyard. A well-designed backyard generally has three-quarters of space (lawn, deck, patio, or gravel area) to one-quarter filled space (planting and upright features like a gazebo). At the end of the day, this is your home. If you want a larger deck built to accommodate the things you want to put on it or a smaller one that is more cost-effective, no one will stop you; these are merely suggestions.
Do You Need to Replace or Repair Your Deck?
When identifying your deck’s problems, you can decide whether to repair your existing deck or install a completely new one. Here are some tips to help you decide.
First, experts recommend that if the cost of repairs starts to near the price of a replacement, it’s better to replace the deck. You don’t want to dump money into a deck that will soon need to be replaced.
Second, keep in mind your deck’s lifespan—traditional wood decks typically last ten to 15 years. Capped polymer decking can have a lifespan of up to 50 years if you take deck maintenance seriously. Thus, a total replacement is probably unnecessary if you’ve only had your deck for a few years.
But if you have a wood deck that requires replacement, you should consider replacing your wood deck with composite decking. The decking materials you choose for your new deck will significantly impact the cost and required deck maintenance. Since composite decking lasts much longer than traditional wood and requires less maintenance, you can justify a higher upfront cost.
Finally, if the problems are structural, you will likely need to replace the deck. While it’s easy to solve most deck issues when it comes to structural problems, the integrity of your entire deck is at stake. This compromises your deck’s safety.
For those that need assistance identifying whether a repair or replacement is better, a deck professional can help identify your deck’s problems and provide a solution.
Choosing The Right Location For Your Deck
Now that you have chosen the deck size to build for your Houston home, you need to consider where you will build it, which has much to do with your house. Before committing to an area, you want to consider a few things.
Do you need to accommodate a sloped yard?
How much privacy do you want?
Do you have immovable pieces in your backyard like a powerline, shade trees, or an inground pool?
Have you left room for future plans? If you are a young married couple without children, it may seem silly to think about where your future kids will play, but you’ll want to factor these things into the equation.
On a piece of paper, you should have scribbled out your backyard and some design that best suits your personal preferences. This is a rough draft nothing is etched in stone. Let’s tie the rest of your backyard to the deck; you may need to adjust your drawing. This exercise will be more straightforward if you have a blank canvas yard. However, if you have movable items such as an above-ground pool, doghouse, or grill, considering the size of your deck design will it fit, or do you need more space? If you need room for the location and size of the deck, take the eraser and remove the items.
If your yard’s a blank canvas, you may want to scribble in planting borders and pavers to help tie everything together. Your design will make everything work well together and create a jaw-dropping appearance. One way to do that is to incorporate the shape of your deck into other yard elements. For example, if you want a semicircular deck, mimic this shape with your plant borders. This is a simple geometric shape, but notice how everything ties in to create a seamless look. Hardscaping is a large subject we will not cover in this book, but you always make room for Mother Nature. The more your design blends in with your hardscape, the more natural and beautiful it will appear. If you want to learn about our deck repair and deck building service in Houston, call (281) 545-7740