Designing a deck can be a very personal endeavor. I have helped hundreds of residential customers bring their “dream decks” step-by-step into reality. I can also state with absolute confidence that there is something to be said for calling in the experts when you are working towards a deck design you will enjoy and be able to make good use of for years to come.
Designing a deck is a different type of endeavor from designing a home, an office building, outdoor landscaping, a porch or any other enclosure. There are several considerations regarding weather, usability, safety, durability, visual appeal, personal comfort, etc., to carefully consider.
Write It Out
As you are building your deck, the first task to complete is to create your wish list. The question to ask yourself is simple: “What are you looking for in a deck?” Do you want a space that is safe from the elements (and the insects and critters) that you can enjoy year-round? Do you want to entertain on your deck? Will your deck be adjacent to a pool or other landscape feature; if so, how will deck access be achieved?As you answer each question, you will be creating a roadmap you can use to choose the best materials, color scheme, furniture and furnishings, lighting and air flow solutions, entry and exit points, enclosure systems (if any) and other essential features. As I have seen firsthand many times, if you skimp on doing your own brainstorming, you will miss out on noticing key features you are hoping for in building your dream deck.
Here is where it can be helpful as well to involve a deck design and installation professional right from the start. Not only will a deck consultant or contractor have a wealth of ideas to share with you, but they can also point out features that may or may not be realistic or workable for your space. As well, and especially if you are working to design your very first deck, you may not know the words to describe exactly what you want in the lingo of the deck design world. However, as you describe it, the professional you work with can put a “name to a face” (so to speak) and get your project off to an accurate, as well as successful, start. Here it can also be helpful to do some scouting, taking photographs of other decks you like, researching on the internet and talking with friends to discover ideas you otherwise might not have thought of on your own.
Shop It Out
Once you have a general sketch of what you are looking for in a deck you can enjoy 365 days a year, it is time to get down to brass tacks and pick the materials. Generally, it’s a good idea to get several quotes, especially if you are new to deck design and construction. This way, you can gain a better understanding of the differences in quality and features. One company whose products I have used frequently is A Vinyl Fence & Deck Wholesaler. I happen to know that their privacy fencing solutions are wind certified to 130 mph (miles per hour) – at that level of certification, a catastrophic hurricane could blow through; your privacy fencing would endure it. It is also important to start out with a firm idea of your budget. If you do not know what you can afford to spend, you will not be well-equipped to make decisions about the most important materials, such as the type of heavy-duty commercial grade vinyl fencing you can purchase when you are choosing between fencing solutions.
For instance, I have seen firsthand that factory-direct vinyl fence solutions simply perform better on every point than the cheaper, lower grade big-box retail fencing that many contractors may try to encourage you to purchase. If you want a deck you can use all year-round, that will last for your generation and the next, the fencing you choose is critical to that goal.
You will also want to consider the style of fencing in unison with the style of deck you are building. There is no lack of options to choose from; this includes privacy vinyl fencing, picket fencing, pool fencing, simulated stone fencing and more. Browsing online is often the best way to identify what type of fencing you want. Finally, be sure that the company you choose to work with is reliable, available any time of day or night, has a long-term reputation in the market, offers a lifetime warranty for their products and services, and will back up their products with full installation support that does not end until you are completely, 100 percent satisfied with your installation.
You also should not have to wait for your product to arrive; having worked with A Vinyl Fence & Deck Wholesaler for most of my decade-long contracting career, I have never seen their fencing materials arrive in less than ten business days’ time. This is what you should expect in a materials fulfillment company. Finally, be sure to research feedback from other customers before you select the company to buy your products from. Both satisfied and dissatisfied customers will always tell you the truth about the quality of materials, customer service and other critical factors.
About the Author: Andreas Scofield is a contractor-turned-journalist who enjoys crafting his blog posts and articles while watching the beautiful view of sunrise and sunset from the deck he built himself.
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING VINYL FENCE & DECK PRODUCTS: Visit A Vinyl Fence & Deck Wholesaler (www.vinylfenceanddeck.com)