Tips For Designing A Maintenance-Free Deck

The perfect deck can make it easier to enjoy your yard, whether it's to sip coffee in the morning or for full-on entertaining. Part of designing the perfect deck is to pick a design and materials that won't need a lot of maintenance. The following are a few ideas that will help with that:

Tip #1: Skip the wood

Few things look more welcoming than a wooden deck, but they require a lot of maintenance to remain nice. At a minimum, you will have to reseal the boards annually to protect them against weathering. You may also need to periodically strip off paint or finish, reapply it, and then weather seal. Screws can work their way out and wood can splinter or rot. For a lower maintenance option, look into composite deck boards. These look like wood but they are made of wood fibers and a plastic or resin. They don't need sealed or painted, so are virtually maintenance free.

Tip #2: Don't overlook the railings

The deck rails are a major part of your deck, so don't skimp on these. Composite or vinyl railings are available so you don't have to worry about paint and maintenance. Just make sure the style you choose is thick enough that breaking under weight won't be a concern. If you prefer the look of metal, aluminum is a better choice than wrought iron – it looks the same but won't need rust treatments or paint. Another option is to go with glass deck railing. This makes your deck look larger and it doesn't impede the view. Other than washing it periodically, it is maintenance-free.

Tip #3: Close in the bottom

Many decks come off the house elevated, which means there will be a crawlspace beneath the deck. Depending on your home's elevation, this space may be large enough to double as storage for yard or garden equipment. To save you work later on, close in this space and add an access door, if necessary. Otherwise, you will have to clean out blown in debris, like leaves, or worse, deal with animals that decide the crawlspace makes the perfect place to set up their home. Vinyl lattice is often used to fence in a deck crawlspace since it still allows air circulation, which cuts down on the chances of mold or water issues from occurring beneath the deck.

For more help, contact a deck installation company like Rainier Fencing & Decking.