What you need to know before you start building your new deck.

With the explosion of outdoor living in South Africa, decks continue to be increasingly popular as an outdoor lifestyle option. Whether around the pool area or braai area, a deck can extremely improve the look and ambiance of your garden.
Now before you move ahead with getting your deck built, there are few questions you need to ask yourself. These questions will assist you in making an informed decision on your deck building needs. Every week we’ll go through these question and some ideas that will help you answer them, this week we look at the different uses for decks.

What will the deck be used for?

The functional requirements of a deck differ with regards to factors like environmental conditions i.e. harsh weather conditions as well as the degree of exposure to the sun, also the level of pedestrian traffic (will it be used a lot?) and even the particular activities the deck will accommodate.
The first step when putting together a deck design is to think about how your deck will be used. Deciding on the function of the deck will assist you in determining the size of the deck and the area where you would have it built. Ideally you would be happier with a deck that is both functional and spacious; it also serves you well to have your deck built in a secure area where you would enjoy privacy from prying eyes.

Here are some interesting ideas for decks that you may have not considered;

Play area for kids.
We all know the havoc that inviting a few friends for a play date can cause to the house and the yard, adding a kiddie’s swing, a sandbox and a cute tea table will turn your deck into a well suited play area for the kids.

Outdoor dining area.

If wining and dining under the stars is your thing then an outdoor dining area for your deck is a great idea. A list of things to consider would firstly be your access from the kitchen or better yet the option of having an outdoor kitchen installed. It is also wise to think about the number of people you would generally host, this will assist you in choosing the right type and size of outdoor furniture to buy.
It is always wise to choose durable, all weather outdoor furniture that will last long as well as enhance the look of your deck.

A second living room.

The option of using a deck as a second living room gives the feeling of getting away from it all and relaxing with the family under the stars. By incorporating different design elements that were once only found inside the house, your deck will become a nice place for you and your family and friends to enjoy a cold beer in the comfort of your own back yard.

Outdoor bar/party area.

For the ultimate party host, this is a grand idea for the function of your deck. Incorporating a bar and even proper outdoor furniture as well as heating will make your party deck area ideal for hanging out and parting till late in all weathers, consider the option of adding a pergola and maybe growing roof plants on it.
Another grand idea to complement your outdoor bar/party deck would be building a thatched roof or a Lapa considering that Mother Nature could “rain” on your parade.

Sleeping quarters.

Do you enjoy outdoor living and camping? Well why not use your deck are as a summer time camping spot. Just throw in a large tent and some luxurious day-beds and you’ll be all set up for a fun family camping experience in your own back yard.

We’ve thrown a few ideas around but there are plenty more out here. Surf the net, collect some books on deck and find out from other people like your neighbours or friends about what they use their decks for. There are more interesting ideas available to suit your particular needs or interests.