Advanced materials like wood-plastic composite decking make creating indoor-outdoor spaces a breeze. The deck boards are available in a wide-range of sizes and natural colors, and products with a realistic wood-embossed grain pattern are available to bring the beauty of wood to your deck without the work of sealing, staining or painting. Best of all, brands like ChoiceDek composite decking are easy to install and simple to maintain.
"Many homeowners are surprised to learn how hassle-free composite decking is to install," says Scott Spencer, national account manager for ChoiceDek composite decking. "Uncapped boards can be cut, drilled and screwed with standard tools, and boards with a quality wood-plastic blend throughout the board can even be bent into curves. Today's homeowners are more than capable of using it to create a timeless extension of their home."
If you're ready to put hammer to nail and get started, keep in mind these three simple ways to use composite decking to create a beautiful backyard retreat that will last for many summers to come.
1. Create a smooth surface underfoot
One of the keys to building a beautiful outdoor deck-escape is ensuring your deck will have a smooth, barefoot friendly surface. Even the most stunning deck designs can disappoint if nails and screws create unsightly dimples or later pop and create hazards for warm-weather fun. For families with pets or children, composite decking is a great choice since it will not rot or warp causing dangerous cracks and splinters. It's a choice your feet and pets will appreciate.
2. Vary your design
With today's high-performance composite deck boards, you don't need to stick with a basic rectangle deck design. Whether you're planning a small rooftop getaway or a multi-level deck, you can work the boards to maximize visual impact and enjoyment.
Simply altering the direction of boards can bring small decks to life and add a custom touch to your outdoor space. Variable board placement can also help zone decks into functional outdoor rooms. This is particularly helpful if you're building a larger deck with designated areas for cooking, eating and relaxing. The secret is not to overdo it. Deck patterns should be well planned, and coordinate with your home's architectural style.
Another way to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space is to incorporate angles and curves into your deck. Contemporary composite decking materials are much easier to shape into curves than traditional wood decking. With little extra effort, they can be bent for use in benches, stairs, trim and decks with rounded edges. Let your imagination roam, but be sure to check specific manufacturer guidelines since they can vary by brand.
If you need help visualizing your deck design, you can use deck design programs like the one on Lowes.com to explore different layouts and determine material quantities in advance of building.
3. Deck out your living space
Incorporating a few simple deck add-ons can transform your deck into a true outdoor living room. For example, arbors and pergolas can provide shade, while giving you a place to attach speakers, lights and hanging plants. Built-in seating can provide an ideal space for guests to lounge during late night cookouts and can double as storage. Installing lights on the deck's surface, stairs or on the topside of railings can improve nighttime socializing and increase the safety of your deck.
Safety features like railings can also be transformed from a landscape eyesore into a landscape focal point. Look for composite decking brands that offer complementary posts, post caps, balusters, railing and trim for an easy way to give guests something attractive to lean on.
Paying attention to the small details can work wonders for your deck, and help you create an outdoor vacation space friends and family keep coming back to enjoy.