From summer barbecues to fall campfires, a deck is the ultimate addition to a family home. However, the way you plan and design the structure could mean the difference between an asset and a nuisance. Before you choose an installation date with your deck builder, use these do’s and don’ts to master the design phase.


Choose the right material.

Traditional wooden decks are prized for their natural beauty, but they are also more expensive and harder to maintain than other options. Composite or manufactured wood planks are more resistant to rot and pest infestations, so you can spend more time enjoying the outdoors and less time on maintenance.

Select the finish carefully.

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If you do choose a wooden deck, you’ll need to prioritize a high-quality sealant, which will penetrate the planks and create a strong barrier against moisture, UV rays, fungi, and stains. You can also protect a wooden deck by staining it—which offers the added bonus of color customization. Composite boards should also be finished with a product approved by their manufacturer.


Forget your guests’ comfort.

If you’re planning to entertain on your outdoor deck, you’ll need to plan out the square footage accordingly. Dining areas should leave enough room for the table, plus an extra four feet around the table for people to walk by. You may also want to leave a section for grilling, or areas for a hot tub or fire pit. Finally, you’ll need to factor in space for walkways or stairs that lead out to the rest of the yard.

Take up the whole yard.

That being said, it’s also important to leave enough space around the deck for other activities. If the deck takes up the whole yard, you can’t have a garden, a play area for the kids, or a grassy area for the dog. You might also cramp the outdoor AC unit, septic system, generator, or other backyard features. As a general rule of thumb, the deck should take up no more than 40% of your total backyard.


If you’re interested in constructing an outdoor living space, reach out to Bernie Brothers of Kodiak, AK. These deck builders have over 30 years of experience adding lasting improvements to homes and businesses throughout the area. In addition to decks, they can also perform roofing and siding installations, among other exterior projects. To learn more about their top-quality products and trusted services, visit the website, or call the deck builders at (907) 481-3900 to ask for a free estimate.