5 Tips for How To Design the Perfect Deck


Start Planning the Deck of Your Dreams 

Ultimate Guide: Decks, Updated 5th Edition

Adding a new backyard deck is one of the most popular ways to enhance the outdoor living area of your home. For many people, the hardest part of building a new wood deck may be coming up with a design that meets all of your requirements and suits your terrain. Here are 5 tips to help you begin the design process.

1. Decide how you will use the deck.

Everyone in the family probably has different visions of the ideal deck. Gather all their opinions and figure out an overall design that will work for everybody.

2. Start a deck idea scrapbook.

Keep your ideas and your wish list in order by starting a design scrapbook or Pinterest board. That way you’ll have a place to keep photos you take of decks you like and deck pictures from magazines and catalogs, as well as ample space to jot down your ideas and plans.

3. Preview the deck contours.

To help you visualize the actual size of a deck concept, measure the rough dimensions on the potential building sites and stretch out an extension cord or a garden hose to mark the contours.

4. Plan for a better view.

Avoid one of the common flaws in many deck designs: a railing that blocks your view. It’s wise to place them far away from glass doors and windows. Place shade structures close to the house where they won’t block the views.

5. Design for Safety

Don’t forget these elements when designing your deck:

  • A railing system and deck stairs that comply with building codes
  • Adequate lighting for nighttime safety

For step-by-step instructions and terrific backyard deck ideas,
check out Ultimate Guide: Decks, Updated 5th Edition.

Ultimate Guide: Decks, Updated 5th Edition

Written for beginning DIY-ers, Ultimate Guide: Decks, Updated 5th Edition provides both building knowledge and design inspiration. You’ll learn how to build a deck, with detailed advice on framing, decking, and stairs. Brush up on tools, materials, and construction techniques. The book includes 30 unique backyard deck designs from the nation’s top deck designer/builders to help you create the deck of your dreams.