A Deck Offers the Perfect Spot for Outdoor LivingHot tubs, fire pits & built-in bbqs for your deck
A deck will provide you with a great place for entertaining friends and family outdoors. There are a variety of outdoor living accessories that will make your deck the place to be. If designed and built correctly your deck can host a hot tub, a fire pit or even an outdoor kitchen. A straightforward deck does a lot to increase the usable space in your landscape and invite you and your family outside to dine and relax. However, if you have room in the budget, these add-ons give your deck a finished look and make it even more of a pleasure to use.
Adding deck lighting expands the number of hours you can use it for dining or relaxation. Baron Biedenweg of Archadeck of Fort Wayne in Ft. Wayne, IN suggests using lights on the risers of stairs, under the handrail, in between balusters, or surface-mounted on railing posts.
Benches can be built in next to spas or pools, or around the edges of petite decks to increase the usable space. While a table and chairs take up a great deal of room, a simple bench around the perimeter of the deck provides ample seating without crowding a small space.
Storage boxes can be built right into the bottom of a bench to hide hoses, spa chemicals, or gardening tools. Just flip up the seat of the bench to access the storage underneath.
Pergolas and shade structures make your deck feel comfortable even during the hottest hours of the day.
Create privacy on urban decks or next to a hot tub with a long planter box filled with shrubs, or by constructing a simple privacy screen out of lattice.
Planter boxes accent the corner of the deck and break up long stretches of built-in bench. Choose plantings that will harmonize with the rest of the landscape to integrate the style of your deck with the rest of the garden.
Decks can be specifically designed for a hot tub, either as a surround or simply a platform. Whatever option you choose you'll need to make sure your deck is built to support the weight of a hot tub filled with water and people, which can be as much as 5,000 pounds. Special framing and footings are necessary for a hot tub deck. A hot tub platform can be built lower than the rest of the deck so that it is easier to access and appears to be integrated into the overall design.
An outdoor cooking area can take your deck form good to great. A deck needs to have the proper bracing to support the weight of a built-in grill. If you have an existing deck have a professional assess its structural soundness prior to installing an outdoor kitchen. Make sure there are no flammable surfaces near your outdoor kitchen. Ipe hardwood is a popular decking material if you plan on having a grill because it is incredibly fire resistant. Additionally, think ahead and have a gas line run to where your grill will be.
Fire pits are a great deal of fun, but also pose a significant safety hazard on a deck. If the proper precautions are taken you can enjoy a fire pit with friends and family on your deck.
- A gas fire pit is much safer on a deck because there are no sparks or embers
- Needs to be raised off the deck surface for proper circulation
- A liner should be placed underneath the fire pit to protect your deck
- If burning wood, a screen is necessary to keep sparks and embers contained
If you don't like the idea of using a liner a more permanent base of cement fiber board covered in pavers or ceramic tile can be used as a base for a fire pit. Check out Deck Stones for a fire proof decking surface. But this adds considerably to the weight on your deck so make sure it is strong enough.