Because we all are spending more time in our homes, the surrounding outdoor areas have become a more important consideration. Backyard deck ideas can inspire you to use your outdoor space in a creative way and allow you to enjoy your backyard with your family and friends.
After all, we may be at home more, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want a change of scenery every now and again.
Backyard Deck Ideas: Materials and Care
We want to show you some inspirational pictures of backyard deck designs. However, before we do, there are a few items to consider regarding decking materials and how to maintain your deck once it is built.
Materials for decking
Wood of different varieties is by far the most common type of material for outdoor decks of all types and styles. It is strong and durable and has a natural feel that no other material can replicate. The cheapest wood for decking is pine. Pine boards for decking can be pressure treated in order to increase their ability to stand up to the outdoor elements.
Keep in mind however that wooden decks require periodic maintenance. Even pressure-treated lumber is susceptible to rotting, warping and splintering which can shorten its lifespan. It needs to be re-sealed every two to three years with stain to maintain the look and durability of the wood.
Redwood and cedar decks
Redwood and cedar decks are valued because of their natural resilience towards rot and pests. They are also popular for their natural warmth and beauty. Also, these woods are weather resistant. They both require some maintenance, but not as much as pine decks. They are both long-lasting wood decking materials, but they are some of the most expensive materials that you can choose as well.
Another type is IPE hardwood which comes from South America. This type of wood is known to be resistant to rot, splintering, and bugs These decks can last up to 25 years or more. Of course, this is the most expensive wood deck type of all.
Decks built from composite materials are an option if you do not want the hassle of using wood. These boards are made from a blend of plastic and waste wood fibers. They mimic the look of natural wood but are more resistant to wear and rot than real wood.
These decks don’t need to be painted or stained to be maintained. However, they do need to be washed down to keep mildew at bay. This type of decking is more expensive compared to those made of wood, but because of the further cost of maintaining a wooden deck, the price is comparable in the long run.
PVC boards are another non-wood option for decks. They are similar in appearance and touch to composite decks but less expensive. They also present several advantages such as the fact that they’re resistant to rot, stains, they don’t fade, and they are 100% recyclable. The drawback to this kind of deck is the appearance. The manufacturers mold the PVC boards to look like wood, but they lack the warmth and feel of authentic wood.
Deck tiles are an out of the box idea for decking material. These tiles can be made from a variety of different materials including wood but also granite, slate, or sandstone. They can be arranged in different patterns and offer more freedom in terms of aesthetics and installation.
How To Care of Backyard Decks
The kind of maintenance you need to do depends on the type of deck you have, but there are some general practices that will help you maintain the look of any deck that you have.
- Clean the deck – Once a year, it is a good idea to clear everything off your deck to give it a good cleaning. Wait for a warm and sunny day to begin this task. Wet the deck with a high powered hose. Apply a non-bleach deck cleaning solution with a brush or a roller to remove any stains like mildew on the deck. Let it soak for a period of time and then rinse off.
- Seal the deck – Allow the deck to dry for a couple of days. Sand down any rough areas of the deck and then apply a clear sealer.
- Preventative measures – Good maintenance all year will keep bigger problems from arising. Sweep the deck and keep it clear from leaves, sticks, and snow. Look around the deck to see if there are loose nails, boards, or screws. Fix these areas when they are small so that they don’t get bigger over time.
Build it Yourself or Hire It Out
In order for you to get the most out of your deck, this is a job that needs to be done well. While you will save money if you do this job yourself, you need to have the right knowledge to begin.
Building a backyard wood deck
It is difficult to know where to begin if you don’t have a clue about how to build a deck. Read this helpful tutorial for a start. This instructive article takes you from tearing out the existing patio through all the basics for creating a lovely redwood deck, from pouring the footings to sealing the deck itself.
Even if you have different design ideas regarding the type of deck you want, this will help you understand the basics. After this, you can determine if this is a project that you want to do yourself.
Hiring a contractor
The average cost to build a deck including materials and labor is about $25 per square foot. By using cheaper building materials like PVC and untreated wood, the price can be as low as $15 per square foot. If you use premium materials, the price per square footage increases to $35.
Backyard Deck Ideas and Inspiration
Decks are the perfect focal point for backyard features of many kinds. Here are some innovative deck ideas that will inspire you to think about your outdoor areas in a larger way.
Bates Masi + Architects have created one of the best backyard deck design ideas that we have seen. While there aren’t many complicated details on this deck, this design is striking because of its very simplicity. The seamless transition between the deck, the pool, and the home create one unified design.
Raised deck with no railings
The Brown Studio, Inc designed this pool and deck area. There is no visual rail separation between the backyard decking and the lower area, rather there are long planter boxes that provide the definition for the upper seating level.
Small backyard deck
SEED Studio designed this small deck within the larger backyard area. This may be the perfect thing if you are looking for backyard deck ideas on a budget. This kind of design minimizes the size of the deck. Instead, the whole design works together to create a large entertainment area. The designers used a pea gravel surface in the lower section for the fire pit and raised bed garden.
Pergolas are a common addition for backyard decks, and there are various pergola designs that can alter the look and style of the deck. Jaeger Kahlen Partner designed this backyard deck with a modern pergola. These bring shade and elevate the style of any deck.
Related: Amazing Ideas for Having a Pergola on Your Deck
MCK Architecture + Interiors designed this ground-level deck. The modern and simple style works well with this contemporary home. The deck appears seamless as it blends with the grass. Further, the trees line the back of the deck to add more privacy in an organic way.
Colorful deck ideas
Deck stain is varied in its opacity and its color. You can find stains that look like paint, but unlike paint, it soaks into the wood giving it a protective coat. Ilmio Design created this gorgeous aqua stained deck. While this kind of outdoor deck might be too bright for an urban setting, this design looks right at home as it echoes the beach colors of blue and white.
Lights on a deck
Przemek Lisiecki designed this outdoor living space with a platform deck and solar lights. The soft warm glow of the orb lights are unique. They set off the modern deck space in an interesting way and provide a practical service. Lights are one of the patio features that make the area usable at night as well as during the day.
This is one of the outdoor deck ideas that can be adapted for many settings. Kokai Studios combined different types of flooring including the stone patio on one side and the deck boards on the other. While there isn’t visible grass, the designers have used potted plants to great effect to add strategic greenery. The dining table has a moveable umbrella to allow for all year outdoor dining.
A simple rustic deck
Devyni Architektai designed this small, modern cabin. The deck extends around three sides of the cabin to expand the living space. It invites you to spend time outdoors because of the seamless integration with the surrounding forest.
A deck for entertainment
Backyard and patio ideas that incorporate other entertainment features are some of the most helpful to see. Consider this multiple layer deck with a hot tub, dining area, and upper level with glass railings. Chevallier Architectes designed this amazing deck that allows the owners to make the most of their view of the wide open spaces.
Many urban homes have smaller yards than those in the country. However, small backyard deck ideas can work well in these spaces. Gabrielle Toledano has designed one such deck that utilizes climbing vines to give the seating area privacy. Further, the builders have installed a glass railing to allow a full view of the urban landscape on one side of the deck.
Notice this contemporary backyard floating deck from dSpace Studio Ltd, AIA. This open deck features multiple seating areas. The area under the cedar pergola features a comfortable dining area along with other elements like an outdoor kitchen, grill accessory storage, and boxes for a raised bed garden. These can work very well on a deck if you also incorporate some kind of automatic watering mechanism like a drip irrigation system.
Outdoor movie theater
Christopher Megowan Design created this outdoor deck and movie theater. This is the perfect way to extend your indoor living space for kids and adults alike. The seating is cozy but movable for easy access to the yard. The designers have laid the staggered brick tiles in a unique way to provide a path for the heavy traffic areas.
This is rooftop living at its best. Resolution: 4 Architecture was able to incorporate the otherwise unusable space on the roof to build a quiet retreat. The cable railings keep the look of the deck contemporary and open.
Place for entertaining
This deck combines a contemporary style with a serene setting. The large hedge behind the deck offers privacy while the wooden slats keep the hedge contained. The long fire pit spreads the warmth along the bench seating. One of the most useful outdoor bar ideas is when middle consoles like this are used as built-in coolers in the summer to minimize the back and forth from inside the house.
This deck is one of the best sloped backyard deck ideas as the terraces work together to create a cooperative whole. This deck does not use railings to separate it from the yard. Rather, the owners use movable planters to add greenery and fresh herbs and add distinction to the simple deck floor.
The Harper Elm group used washed gray wood to blend with the neutral colors of the home for this ground level deck. It flows from the home in a seamless way to add extra entertainment space.
Sticks and Stones created this small backyard deck design. This contemporary deck uses tropical greenery to create a living wall behind the built in bench. Greenery works well in numerous deck and patio designs to soften the straight lines of the hardscape.
King’s Landscaping has positioned this deck in an area with ample natural shade. This does away with the need for an artificial shade like a built covering. Further, the deck meshes with the landscape in a seamless way. The veneered stone wall offers more distinction to the edge and a counter for outdoor cooking.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How can I make my deck interesting?
The best way to add interest to your deck is to add elements for entertaining like a seating/dining area or hot tub deck area. Another idea is to add string lights or hang all your plants on a wooden structure to create a living wall.
What is a good size backyard deck?
A good size deck begins around 12 ft x 12ft. However, the average size deck ranges from 300 to 400 square feet.
What to consider before building a deck?
First, consider how you are going to use your deck and where you will locate it in your backyard. Next, think about your budget for this project. This will determine what materials you can buy and if you will hire help or build the deck yourself.
Does a deck increase home value?
A deck that is attractive will increase the value of your home. However, a deck that has been neglected will warn off potential buyers.
How much does a backyard deck cost?
The average price of a deck is between $4,000-$11,000. This number is dependent on the materials you use and if you hire a contractor or do the work yourself.
How long does a wooden deck last?
A typical wooden deck will last between 10-15 years. The length of time depends on the wood you choose and the level of maintenance you put into the deck.
How do I find backyard deck builders near me?
The best way to find a contractor to help you build a deck for your house is through community websites or word of mouth. Be sure to read all the reviews for a particular contractor to find out the experience of others.
Backyards decks can help you make the most of your yard by expanding your entertainment area and your enjoyment of the great outdoors. However, it is important to understand all the options and materials to get the most out of your money when you invest it in this space. Explore creative ideas to make sure that your backyard deck is the talk of the neighborhood.