Keep the tree
Don’t despair if there’s a tree right where you want to build your new deck, turn it into a feature. Frame your deck around the tree and build it in. You can even put some benches around it to give you a shady spot to sit and relax.
Include a spa
A spa is a great addition to any deck. Use it to relax in at night or turn off the heat and take a refreshing dip on a hot summer’s afternoon. If your deck is elevated, you can make the spa level with the deck, so you can just step right in. If you’re adding a spa to an existing deck make sure the structure of the deck can take the weight. You may have to beef it up a bit.
Built-in benches give your deck an extra dimension. Instead of a flat expanse of deck, benches clad in the decking material make a part of the deck seem like it’s risen up. The same effect can be made using planter boxes instead of benches. Placed along one side of the deck the plants can also act as a living privacy screen.
Add some lights
To make your deck as welcoming at night as it is during the day, include deck lighting. Small energy efficient LED lights set into the side of your deck or along the steps will add a touch of class and sophistication to any deck, and there are some types that you can install yourself.
With the wide range of decking colours and widths available, you can mix up different boards to create different designs. Why not alternate the width of the decking boards? Try using a 90mm wide board followed by a 70mm board. You could also lay the decking on a 45 degree angle or go all out and use a zig-zag herringbone design. Apart from the structure underneath, there are no real hard and fast design rules.
All in the details
Screws that are all lined up along the line of the deck joists looks a lot neater and more professional than a haphazard line of nails. Make sure the screws are the same distance from the edges of the boards for an even neater look. Wide decking boards look great with the larger heads of bugle batten screws. You could also go the other way altogether and use a hidden fixing system so you can’t see the screws at all.
Connect your deck to the rest of your backyard with a set of steps that run all the way along it. Clad the steps in the same materials as the deck as this will make the deck seem like it is flowing down into the backyard. Another advantage of a big set of steps – extra seating when you’re entertaining.