Hoping to expand the living and entertaining space in their homes, more and more homeowners in the Allegheny/Westmoreland County region of Pennsylvania are turning to outdoor living environments as there solution.
At the heart of these outdoor spaces—and usually where a large amount of the outdoor entertaining takes place—is often a deck. But with so many options for deck designs and layouts, as well as a dizzying array of material choices from composite decking like Trex to Brazilian hardwoods like Ipe, deciding on the right deck for your family can certainly be challenging. Here are 3 things to consider while your narrowing down the choices.
Location is Key
Choosing a location for your new deck is deceivingly difficult. What may seem like the “obvious” spot to build is very often the wrong location for many reasons. Locating major landscape features like decks, in-ground pools, and outdoor kitchens is often best left for a trained professional landscape designer or landscape architect. Choosing a less than perfect home for one of these key features is not exactly easy to fix.
So what are some of the factors that a landscape designer will consider? He or she will take everything from the deck’s distance away from the main indoor entertaining areas to the direction of prevailing winds into account when designing the master plan. Access on and off the deck is also key.
Just the Right Size
When working to select the appropriate size for your new deck design, dig deep and figure out exactly how your family will use the new space. When you entertain, are the gatherings typically large numbers people or small, intimate groups? Will there be kids? Kids generally come with more ‘stuff’ to store away requiring a bigger footprint to accommodate storage built-ins. What type of furniture fits your style preference? Large cushioned outdoor sofas or small wrought iron benches?
Structural design will play a huge role in determining deck size for you as well. For instance, you may decide that you could use another 60 sq. ft. in one direction. But this seemingly simple expansion could require another set of footings for structural support making it prohibitively expensive.
Is Composite or Wood Decking right for you?
Material choices can perhaps make the biggest impact on the style of your deck design, as well as budget. There are three main categories to choose from for your new deck area; composite decking, traditional lumber, and Brazilian hardwood like Ipe. If the amount of maintenance required is a concern, and it usually is, composite decking from the likes of Trex and TimberTech, is a great option. If a budget-friendly choice is important, traditional lumber is the clear choice. And if clean lines and contemporary style is on the top of list, Ipe is beautiful and durable.
When it comes to material choices for your new deck, remodeling contractors have the advantage of experience on their side. Chances are, they have installed many different decking materials and understand the pros and cons involved with each one. They will also be able to supply you samples so you can see first hand how the colors and textures will work at you house.
For homeowners in the Allegheny, Butler, and Westmoreland areas of PA, outdoor living spaces can be an incredible way to expand their home beyond the walls and into the great outdoors. While deciding on a deck design can be filled with many hard decisions, rest assured that there are many tools to help you through.