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  • Writer's pictureCherine Spagnolo

What Should You Think About When Planning a New Deck?


It’s easier to change your mind on paper than after discovering your new deck furniture is bigger than your new deck. So we’ve assembled a few ideas to keep in mind as you consider your outdoor space, from how you’ll use it to what materials you need to consider.

As homeowners we have more decking material choices than ever before. For fans of real wood, pressure-treated cedar and redwood are traditional choices, but require continued maintenance. However, hardwoods are coming into vogue, and several upscale choices are now more commonly available, such as ipe and jarrah. Their longevity puts them in a league with composites, and they offer a luxurious, rich appearance that you can't achieve with other decking. If you select one of these, you can expect them to be more expensive than most other woods.

For those searching for something more maintenance free, composite decking and other synthetic materials such as vinyl are revolutionizing the industry. These products are as close to maintenance-free as you can get, and they last decades. They cost more than most wood, but the payback comes with reduced maintenance (this means no time and cost refinishing, and more time enjoying). The look is very different from real wood; so personal taste is a big part of the decision to use composites or other synthetic decking.


If you are like most folks, you are likely planning on dining alfresco on your new deck. Consider keeping it close to your kitchen to minimize long trips back and forth. Also allow plenty of room around your outdoor table for the chairs to pull out comfortably, and think about a bump-out space for the grill – with plenty of clearance from the house.

If you have a pool, consider building your deck out of composite decking. This category of building material is a great choice for a pool deck because it doesn’t overheat or splinter like real wood and it’s made from recycled materials so you can rest assured that you are doing something to help the environment.

If your new deck will have a hot tub, they can be heavy, so it's important that your deck's foundation and framing are built to handle the load – this can easily be done with the superior strength of steel deck framing and knowledgeable construction reinforcements.

Consider a multi-level deck to create zones for dining, lounging, or even a private space under a pergola. Using more than one decking color also helps identify one area from another, while different railing colors and styles bring high design to safety. And make sure to plan some uninterrupted room for everything from pickup soccer to a moonlit conga line.

Build in some shade. A deck pergola can dramatically transform your deck from a two-dimensional platform into a three-dimensional outdoor room. Not only does it provide shade, it gives you a place to attach speakers, lights, fans, and hanging plants--the comforts that turn a deck into a wonderful outdoor retreat. A basic pergola doesn't cost much to add to an existing deck, but it's easier to build as an integral part from the outset.

Think about your view when deciding on a deck railing. Innovative deck railings have taken deck design to new levels. With choices such as glass, metal, vinyl, composites, and cabling, alternatives to wood railing can have a tremendous impact on the look of your deck.

Spagnolo Homes has 30 years of experience in implementing deck design and working with a large variety of decking material. Not sure where to start? We can provide you guidance, talk about what materials are best for you to use and coordinate next steps with you! Give Bob or Cherine Spagnolo a call and let's start planning your dream deck (401) 965-7245.

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