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Getting the Most Out of Outdoor Decks

Poolside Deck

Having a comfortable and welcoming outdoor deck area is a great way to add entertainment space without the expense of expanding your home.

Enjoy the Outdoors in the Winter

What do you do as the summer comes to an end and weather turns a little cooler? How can you extend the time of the year that you can entertain in your outdoor area?

Add a patio heater or brazier. Once only seen in outdoor bars - patio heaters have become affordable alternatives for the homeowner who wants to entertain outdoors in the cooler months. Braziers combine the primeval appeal of an open fire and modern practicality - though probably don't produce as much heat as a gas-powered patio heater.

The other issue in cooler months is lighting as the sun sets earlier. Low voltage and solar powered lights are great for the background, but if you are planning on eating and drinking outdoors, you will need to rig some reasonably powerful lights. The good news is that you will have far fewer insect problems than you would have with outdoor lights in the summer.

Camp Outs Under the Stars

Another idea is to get out the stored away sleeping bags or even get some color-coordinated throws to go with your outdoor furnishings. Kids will love the option to snuggle into a sleeping bags and adults will like the warmth.

Plan Your Deck and Materials

Outdoor decks can give your family years of pleasure, fun and add beauty and value to your home, but it's seldom a good idea to simply build an outdoor deck without a plan for adding a patio on your property. Of course, there are other problems to be solved, such as the type of roofing material you will use, the type of plan you will use and how you will adapt to your new platform with local zoning regulations. You can consult with a professional deck installer to learn more.

A very important component of the deck that should never be ignored in your plan is the railing. This is for security purposes to protect people and children in the area. But other than the protection it provides, deck rails are also sure beauty enhancers. With so many available designs and materials for creating deck rails today, any homeowner will be able to achieve the unique style he or she so desires. Design-wise, you can choose from the wide selections available on the market, or you can always create your design for personal fulfilment.

Many designers are now mixing materials for deck rails. For example, they can combine wood for the handrail with wrought iron as a baluster or stainless steel for the hand railing with glass for the baluster to achieve a truly exquisite appeal. And for those of you who may have seen these creations either on the internet or in magazines, they are indeed very attractive.

Decorating an Outdoor Deck Space

So after you have put up your wood deck with its railing, the first thing you will have to consider then is how to beautify the area. Remember this place will accommodate you and the other members of your family as well as your guests during special occasions. It is therefore only fitting that you take the necessary steps to make the deck inviting and comfortable.

Some of the most essential furniture that needs to be there are the chairs. If you're contented with the existing chairs, it might be a good idea to replace them or just improve them a bit if budget is a major issue. If you want to save, you can have the seat cushions of your chairs re-upholstered or have the frame repainted. You might also want to add several throw pillows to complement your seating area. Just make sure that the colours complement the overall design theme of your deck.

A table will also be useful in the deck as a partner for your chairs. Keep in mind that it's up to you what kind of outdoor furniture you use. If you'll be using the space for eating snacks or breakfast perhaps, then a dining table with chairs would be ideal. However, if you'll just be using the area to relax and unwind, then a simple table with lounging chairs would be best.