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Decks and Patios Deck Porch Design
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One of the greatest aspects of any home besides the kitchen and family room is the deck. This place is where the entire family can go to enjoy eating outdoors, friends can gather on the weekend to unwind from a busy week or you can escape all by yourself to relax. Many of the decks designed today are more than just wooden extensions from the house. Deck designs today are connected to gazebos, built around hot tubs, and created with special areas for eating. Many of the materials used have also changed. Now recycled materials are available, saving money and providing you with a maintenance free deck.

If you are considering building your own deck, instead of going to the lumber store and pulling all the necessary materials together, you can actually buy wonderful deck kits that include everything needed. In fact, most home improvement stores provide these kits along with special classes and instructions to help you through the deck building process. Many of the newer kits plans include accessory pieces such as tables, barbecues, chairs, planters, and even hot tubs.

An important part of building a deck is the planning. You need to determine exactly what you will be using your deck for so you can incorporate your plans in from the beginning, instead of wishing you had when finished. For example, do you have an elderly or disabled person in the home, requiring a ramp for your deck? Do you have a larger family and need additional room for eating outdoors on the deck? Are you interested in connecting a hot tub to your deck? Do you live in a city that has a lot of rain that would require some type of roof? All of these considerations and more should be carefully planned out.

You want your deck to be functional while also reflecting your personal style. Additionally, a deck should be built so it enhances the look of your home and increases the value. As mentioned, gazebos have become quite popular in the past few years. Many deck plans include designs for gazebos that include a full material list, construction details, instructions, framing, footer, and handrail plans.

Another important consideration for any deck is the landscaping. Whether you have climbing honeysuckle, tiger lilies planted around the base, or a nice garden pond at the base filled with various greenery, you need landscaping to complete the look of your deck. No matter how simple or elaborate your deck design, the appropriate landscaping will make all the difference.

Other great ideas include building a wrap-around seating arrangement, built in planters where you can display fresh, colorful flowers and plants, and fountains that provide the perfect atmosphere for relaxation. You might even consider putting up a lattice wall around the base of your deck for added storage, or a lattice wall with climbing ivy to provide needed privacy from your neighbors.

Finally, lighting and outlets should also be included in your plan. Some people install sensor lights for security while others prefer Tiki torches for a romantic setting. When it comes to lighting, there are many options. You should also install outlets for your fountain, electrical appliances, garden pond pump, gardening tools, and so on. With careful planning, you can have a spectacular deck to meet all your needs and then some.
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