By adding a wood deck to your home, you are not only creating a new, multi-functional and aesthetically pleasing space, but you are also increasing your home’s resale value, should you ever decide to sell. Wood decks provide a natural quality and warmth that other decking options, like PVC, cannot match. Whether you are considering constructing a wood deck, or you want to remodel an existing one, there are several ideas that can help.
As Galt Tech notes, one of the most popular construction options for wood decks is pressure treated lumber--specifically southern yellow pine. Manufacturers produce these lumbers by infusing wood with chemical preservatives under intense levels of pressure. This processing makes the wood resistant to moisture, decay and damage from insects. Other popular lumber options for wood decks include using mahogany, red cedar and redwood, all of which provide darker, more reddish hues in comparison to their pressure-treated counterparts. According to Ideas for Deck Designs, other stylish but less common alternatives include using tamarack, a dense conifer from northeastern North America; cumaru, a hardwood from Peru; and the incredibly decay-resistant Siberian larch.
Most wood decks feature linear, unidirectional flooring patterns, wherein the wood planks all flow in a straight line in the same direction. Varying this pattern can help make your wood deck flooring stand out and serve a more elegant, aesthetic role in your deck’s overall design. As Better Homes and Gardens Remodeling Center notes, some ideas include using basket weave patterns, wherein planks form alternating horizontally and vertically oriented square sections, and using chevron patterns, wherein two rows of angled planks meet in a central location, forming a V-shaped motif.
The classic style of wood deck railing consists of repeating sections of two, 2-by-4-inch horizontal rails and two, 6-by-6-inch vertical posts, which frame a series of 2-by-2-inch vertical balusters. According to Better Homes and Gardens, you can give this traditional look a touch of style by adding ornamental caps to all of the posts, such as those with pyramid shapes. You can even find post caps that have built-in lights. Alternatively, you could add a repeating pattern or border along the edges of your rails, such as diamond-shaped sections of wood. For a more formal and elegant look, try using rod iron balusters in place of wooden ones.
Incorporating benches into your wood deck’s design can be a great way to maximize space and to ensure that there will be ample seating for you and your guests. While one option is to construct the benches in one section or corner to create a lounge space, you may also want to consider using it around the entire interior perimeter of the deck. This latter option allows the benches to perform double duty, serving both as seats and as railings. However, as Better Homes and Gardens points out, the backs of your benches must be between 36 and 42 inches high in order for them to safely serve as railings.
- Photo Credit Deck de madeira image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com
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