Deck Buyer's Guide to Decking Types and Design Options

Custom decks are a great way to breathe new life into any home. With so many irresistible deck types and features available, how do you choose the right ones for your outdoor living space?

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about getting a custom deck for your home. We’ll cover decking materials, design options, and even popular additions to help you understand the process of getting a new outdoor living space. We are here to help you make the best decisions for your family!

Let’s explore the amazing options you have to beautify and transform your outdoor space with a custom deck!

Deck Buyers Guide

What is a Custom Deck, And Why Would I Want One?

A custom deck is a deck that is built to your specific specifications. (What a surprise!) That means that you get to decide the materials, design, and overall look of your deck. You also get to decide your deck size and shape, the colors and details, and the functionality it adds to your property.

There are COUNTLESS reasons you might want to consider a custom deck:

  • You have a specific vision for your dream deck, and you want to make sure it is designed for YOUR lifestyle.
  • You want a deck that is the perfect size and shape for your backyard.
  • You have a unique or small space that requires a custom design to make the most of it.
  • You want to use materials that will complement your home’s exterior.

Getting a quality deck is about more than simply adding space to your house. It’s an investment in yourself and the lives of those around you.

Things To Keep In Mind When Designing Your Custom Deck

When designing your deck, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your outdoor space:

Function over style

Think about how you want to use your deck. Do you want it to be a place for entertaining? A place for your kids to play? A place to relax and cook outdoors? Once you know how you want to use your deck, you can start thinking about the design.

Size and shape

The next thing you’ll need to think about is the size and shape of your deck. How big do you want it to be? What shape will it be? Will it wrap around your house or be attached to it? Will it have multiple levels to maximize every inch of your space?

Think about the future

When you’re designing your deck, think about how your family might change in the future. Do you plan on having more kids? If so, you might want to consider a bigger deck. And since you probably love to cook and want your kids to become pro chefs like you, why not add an outdoor kitchen while you’re at it!

Consider the views

#Viewsfordays! One of the best things about having a deck is that you get to enjoy amazing views. If you have a beautiful backyard, make sure your deck is positioned to take advantage of it. 😉

Need some shade?

If you want to enjoy your deck without getting sunburned, you might want to consider adding a pergola or some other type of overhead structure. Just look at that beauty and tell me it’s not a great decision!

Now that you know what you want from your custom outdoor living space, it’s time to start planning your dream deck!

How To Choose The Right Decking Type For Your Custom Deck

Beautiful custom decks can be made from a variety of decking types and materials. Each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

What are the different types of Decks?

There are many types of decks, but the three most popular are wood, vinyl, and composite. Wood decks are made out of natural wood and are the most popular type of deck. Vinyl decks are made out of PVC vinyl and are the most durable type of deck. Composite decks are made out of a mix of wood and plastic and are beautiful, low-maintenance, and balanced.

Wood decking

Wood decks are popular for a reason. They are beautiful, natural, and classic. But wood requires more maintenance than other decking types. You’ll need to sand, stain, and seal your wood more often to keep it from deteriorating. It’s a pain to see your investment surrendering to the elements, but with proper maintenance, wood decking can be worth it.

Composite decking

Composite decks are super popular nowadays because they are epic and perfect, and they don’t require nearly as much maintenance as wood. Composite decks look sick, are incredibly functional, and achieve the perfect balance in terms of functionality and beauty.

To this day, at Legacy Decks, we highly recommend most families go with composite decking. There are many styles and types of composite decking to choose from, and do you know what’s best? You won’t have to worry about splinters or rotting – ensuring your investment lasts for a loooooooong time in great condition!

PVC decking

PVC decking is a newer type of decking that is becoming more and more popular. It’s made from synthetic materials, so it doesn’t rot or warp like wood. PVC decking is also insect-resistant and requires very little maintenance. The downside is that PVC decking can look more artificial, but the upsides are too good to make that a deal-breaker.

What’s the best material for a deck?

It really depends on your personal preferences and the climate where you live. If you’re in a dry climate, then a wood deck can be a good option. If you live in a humid climate, then you might want to consider PVC or composite decking, which are more resistant to moisture and rot.

There are many composite materials and wood types for decks, but not all of them are equal. At Legacy Decks, we use southern yellow pine for our framing material. However, we use composite decking (flooring) to give the deck an extra boost in durability and weatherproofing, which you cannot get with just wood alone!

If you want your investment to last, composite decking and yellow pine framing are EXACTLY what you want. It’s the golden combination if you want your deck to last for 50+ years.

Deck Railing Types: Which One Should YOU Get?

Dekc Railing from Custom deck builders at Legacy Decks

Your deck railing is an integral part of your deck design. Why? Because the railing you choose defines the look and style of your deck.

It can affect everything from the look of your deck to its safety. That’s why it’s essential to use a railing that not only looks good but also meets your needs.

There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing railings for your custom deck:

The height of your railing will be determined by the height of your deck. If you have a second-story deck, you’ll need taller railings to meet building code requirements. Plus, we would never put your family in danger.

On the other hand, if you have a ground-level deck, you’ll have more freedom when it comes to the height of your railings.

The type of deck railing you choose will also be determined by the style of your deck and your preferences. If you want a modern deck, you might want to consider glass or cable railings. If you want a more traditional deck, wood or aluminum railings might be a better option.

No matter what type of deck railing you choose, we can help you turn your vision into reality! Depending on the level of functionality that you want, the style that you envision, and your budget, we will find the perfect railing for your custom deck project.

Types of deck railings:

  • Metal railings: If you want your home to look sleek and stylish, there’s nothing better than metal railings. Aluminum railings last for a long time and provide a modern look.
  • Composite railings: There are many reasons to pick composite railings. They’re beautiful, durable, and low-maintenance. You can select from a variety of colors and styling options, so you’ll be able to match your own personal style!
  • Glass railing: Get an unimpeded view of your surroundings. If you want to get the perfect view, glass railings can be customized to fit your home.
  • Cable railings: They are installed in frames of wood, aluminum, or composite. Not only do they provide an unobstructed view like glass railings—they are durable and low-maintenance too!
  • Wood railings: Wood is a classic material for custom decks and patios. It’s also easy to work with and cheaper than composite. However, wood is less durable, and we don’t generally recommend it for railings for safety reasons (and to extend the length of your investment).

Outdoor Living Features Take Your Deck To The Next Level

Although not “technically” essential, some people feel that a great deck just isn’t complete without a few luxurious extras. If you’re planning to get a deck, it’s definitely worth considering some of these outdoor living features:

Deck lighting

The finishing touch for your custom outdoor living space is lighting. Proper lighting can make ALL the difference in how much you enjoy your deck. It can also make your deck safer by preventing trips and falls. You just can’t go wrong with good outdoor deck lighting.

Solar lights, LED lights, string lights, and even under-table lighting… The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing a type of lighting for your deck.

Underdeck storage

If you have the space, why not add some extra storage to your deck? Underdeck storage is a great way to keep your outdoor living area tidy and organized.

Pergolas

a bautiful aluminium pergola from legacy decks

A pergola or gazebo is the perfect way to add some extra shade to your deck. They also make a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Outdoor furniture

Of course, no outdoor living space is complete without furniture. Outdoor furniture comes in all shapes and sizes, so you’re sure to find something that fits your deck perfectly.

From lounge chairs and dining sets to bar stools and benches, there is outdoor furniture for every deck and personality.

Roof structures and screen rooms

If you want to really take your deck to the next level, consider a roof structure or screen room. These features will protect you from the sun and the elements, while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors.

Eze Breeze enclosures

A big improvement over screens and an even bigger improvement over the open air. With an Eze Breeze enclosure, you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the weather. Be on your deck even when there’s snow and rain!

Planter boxes

Adding planter boxes to your deck is a great way to add some extra flair to your space. Planter boxes can be used to create a separation between different areas of your deck or to add some privacy. An excellent decorative option.

Drainage

Installing a deck drainage system is a great idea if your deck is on an upper level.

Why? – it will allow you to have a shady patio under the deck, allowing you to make the most of every inch of your property. You can have a patio underneath without a deck drainage system, but if it starts raining, your patio is going to be more of a pool than a patio!

A deck drainage system will prevent water damage to your home. It’s a must if you have a 2nd-story deck. You’re not some sort o’ pirate who wants a patio that resembles the stormy seas.

Deck Maintenance Tips

Mcmillian Multi-Level Deck Azek

Once you finally have your perfect deck, it’s important to keep it in good condition with regular maintenance. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Avoid chemical cleaners: They can damage your deck and the professional finish of the surface.
  • Use the pressure washer: An efficient way to clean your deck. But make sure to limit the pressure of the stream, or you risk damaging the surface.
  • Deck staining: A good way to protect your deck from the elements and keep it looking new. Applying a protective coat will take your deck a long way.
  • Deck repairs: Every few years, inspect your deck to make sure it is in good condition and to check if any repairs are needed.
  • Dry rot: Microorganisms can cause serious damage to your deck. A well-constructed deck that doesn’t allow moisture to penetrate is key to preventing dry rot. Also, keep in mind that some decking types (like wood) rot more easily.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Deck?

The cost to build a deck varies depending on the materials you choose, the size of your deck, and the contractor you hire. However, on average, building a composite deck can cost around $40,000, while a wood deck can cost around $20,000.

Is composite decking worth the money?

Wood decks are typically cheaper to build than composite decks, but they require more maintenance. Composite decks are more expensive to build, but they last longer and don’t require as much upkeep. In the long run, a composite deck can be much cheaper since it will last through the elements.

Are You Ready To Get Your New Custom Deck?

When it comes to building the perfect deck for your home, it’s important to have all the information you need to make an informed decision. That’s why Legacy Decks is here to provide you with the best possible experience, from start to finish.

We want you to be passionate about your deck – after all, it’s going to be a part of your daily lifestyle for many years to come.

We’ll work with you to create a design that fits your needs and exceeds your expectations. And we’ll be there every step of the way to answer any questions and provide support.

Get a free in-home estimate today and finally get your own Legacy Deck!