You are probably familiar with the old saying “bigger is better”, right? As Americans, we generally assume this old saying rings true — hence our affinity for bigger cars, houses and yes, super size fries. One of the biggest trends in deck design is their increase in size over recent years. However, this increase is not for some of the reasons that may first come to mind: for example to show social status or to facilitate a larger family unit. The reasoning behind building bigger decks is simple. It is because homeowners crave a transference of the comforts and function they have in their interior living space, outdoors.
A better way to gauge the benefits of choosing to go larger when designing your ideal deck space is to look at it this way: ” in most cases, inside your home, you have a dining room, kitchen, living room and family room. Homeowners are requesting these same spaces be designed into their deck, with areas for dining, a sitting or socializing area, and of course a cooking area. “A recent article published by Remodeling Magazine featuring input from owner of Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio Tim Stephens, points out that “the 200-square foot deck in increasingly looking like a relic of the past as more homeowners push for more outdoor living space, and remodelers and builders are lining up to accommodate them.”
A large-scale deck design that encompasses the feel of an “outdoor living room” does take longer to plan, design and build as compared to the “typical” decks of the past. However, the benefits and extended function a larger, well-planned deck provide are worth the additional time they take to complete. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio custom designs each portion of our decks to cater to the individual function our customers seek. We have built several decks right here in the Dayton and Cincinnati area that measure 1,500 square foot of outdoor living space, or more. In comparison, spatially, these decks speak to the size of what could encompass the space of a small home! To get the most out of your deck, no matter what size you have in mind, efficient and even clever use of space is very important.
Here are 10 ideas courtesy of Remodeling Magazine to ensure the best use of space when planning for your dream deck:
#1) Think in layers – Not so long ago, decks both large and small used to be flat, square, single-surface spaces. But the larger the deck, the more it calls for curves, multiple levels, staircases, built-in seating, and railings.
#2) Capture the curves – Flexible composite decking allows for accentuation of the curves within a deck design and is a favorite among deck builders who are partial to curved surfaces, sidewalks, and staircases, which can create an eye-catching segue between two levels of the deck.
#3) Move the eye along – Add a focal point or two to a large, empty span of deck by building a planter or fire pit in the middle and lining the perimeter with built-in seating.
#4) Create drama – Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor. Incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner. And don’t be shy about mixing materials on a big deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof, or a granite countertop on a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.
#5) Proportions matter – An 1,800-square-foot deck on the back of a 2,000-square-foot home is probably too big to “go” with that house. Size up within reason.
#6) Add some shade – A homeowner who springs for a 600-square-foot-plus deck is going to want to use it as often as possible. A pergola, awning, canopy, or roof over the deck will allow the client to cook, entertain, or relax outdoors even on hot, sunny days or during rain showers. Any shade structure should be as low-maintenance as the deck itself.
#7) Prepare homeowner/clients for a possible long wait – It takes a long time to build a big deck. Especially if the outdoor room will be home to electric and gas appliances, the job will include an electrician, a plumber, and the local building inspector. If the deck includes multiple tiers, the builder might need to consult with an engineer or architect.
#8) Consider the view – If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take care with the placement of the posts so they’re not too close to doors and windows, where they can block the homeowner’s view and path to the yard. Also, build in an under-deck gutter to catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.
#9) Leave enough room – Even a big deck can run out of room if the design includes a hot tub. A typical 7-by-7-foot spa takes up at least a 10-by-10-foot space so there’s enough room around it for a railing, a privacy screen or a path for bathers and maintenance techs to walk around it.
#10) Make it useful – Include heat and light so the owners can use their deck after dark and during at least three seasons. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.
So, to answer the question “is a bigger deck better”, it all depends on your individual needs and personal tastes. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely bigger is better!
If you have an existing deck that begs for elaboration, or are poised to pursue your outdoor living vision from scratch, we can help! Our award-wining custom deck designs make the outdoors truly worth loving, and living! Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to learn more at (513) 897 – 2040 or (937) 848-7040. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”
Please peruse our deck photo galleries located on our website, including our composite and PVC deck photo gallery and our hardwood deck photo gallery for more ideas.