Regardless of the season, decks have become an extension of the home. Many homeowners want to expand the footprint of their entertainment space by allowing the home to flow out onto the deck. This opens new opportunities for contractors to provide more amenities than they would otherwise consider when creating a deck project.
Outdoor living offers new opportunities
September 8, 2014
Open access between deck and home has become a popular option, with stackable patio doors moving aside to eliminate bottlenecks. These doors can be many panels wide, as long as suitable overhead loading support is provided.
Using similar colors and textures for flooring and decking also enhances this flow. Suggesting a revamp of the space just inside the door to better complement the new decking can create a smooth transition.
As an extension of the home, decks offer opportunities for more entertainment features. Sophisticated designs are creating spaces for outdoor kitchens with hybrid grills that allow cooking with gas, wood and charcoal. Cooking shows on TV also are promoting the range of foods that can be grilled and the ways they can be enjoyed, opening the door to elaborate options such as pizza ovens and beer taps.
Dining areas can be enhanced with full-length dining tables and cushy, weather-proof chairs. Lounge areas can include supports for a hammock or space for chaise lounges. These areas also can be protected from the sun and precipitation with the use of pergolas or other overhead structures.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits also are gaining popularity, as are hot tubs and even TVs. Often, these various functions are segregated into their own areas through the design of multiple levels.
To extend enjoyment after dark and help spotlight some of the design ideas, deck lighting has increased in popularity. Energy-efficient designs are available, as are solar-powered styles. If deck lighting isn’t in the budget, holders for candles or lanterns used properly can meet homeowners’ needs while keeping the deck safe.
Some homeowners are extending their deck amenities into the backyard. Garden benches, gazebos and other supplemental pieces can complement the deck and create a unified look, especially if they are completed as one package using similar materials.
Choices for designing a deck today are as varied and unique as the people who enjoy them. As outdoor spaces continue to mix form and function from with the best of indoor living, the outdoor living trend shows no signs of slowing down.