Decks & patios

Lets talk decks!  I love them but to be completely honest most homeowners make them too small.  Beautiful decks are a thing to see but functionality is also important.  I have a good friend who asked my advice on building a patio that steps up into a deck and I thought it was a fantastic idea.  He should me the “layout” and immediately I shook my head from side to side and told him he should start over there and end here which basically went the entire width of the back of his house.  He scoffed at my idea and said it was “huge”.

Yes it was huge but functionally so much better.  I went on to explain that everyone I know who has a plan for a patio or deck make them too small.  Once you put the furniture out and then the grill and then flower pots and then add people all your family and friends will be standing in the grass because you can’t move around on your deck or patio.  I could tell you stories.

If money is the issue I would suggest saving the money until next year so you can  make the deck bigger.  Much bigger!  There is a rule of thumb for this type of thing which is: If you’re going to build a deck, patio, shed, or a pond make them twice as big as you think you need.  I like this rule of thumb.

My idea was to extend the deck all the way across the back of the house to their master bedroom.  This way all they had to do is get out of bed and have coffee in the morning on their own private area of the deck.  Or, have an intimate place to have a glass of wine at night.  I also suggested a gas fire pit would be a nice touch.  Even though the kids are grown up and gone this created an intimate private little area just for them.  Two chairs a coffee table and some flower pots would have been perfect.  The door would have to be added but there was plenty of time and room to add a door.  They could also access the larger portion of the deck from here if they wanted.  Perfection!

Here’s what happened.  My friend did not listen to me and went ahead with his plan for a much smaller patio and deck and today he is kicking himself for not extending the deck the entire width of the back of his house.  Everything is too small!  I didn’t say ‘I told you so’ because I’m not that kind of guy but I did offer to help him add on to his deck when he decides to do it.

He recently had a large gathering for Thanksgiving and his family and friends were standing in the grass – just like I said they would.

The beauty of this project is his yard is huge! and the yard butts up to the school soccer field so no other houses are going to be built to the back of his house.  The view is very nice and wide open, and it faces west so the sunsets peek in and out through the trees.  Beautiful!

Tip!  Do not put a hot tub on your deck.  EVER!  If you really like to hot tub, and some people do, create a separate area off to the side and out of the way for the hot tub.  Hot tubs are problematic, especially in Wisconsin.  They’re always in maintenance mode and rarely get used once you buy it and set it up.  So why would you want it on your deck for everyone to see.  Your deck then becomes all about the hot tub.  Keep it off to the side and secluded for intimate moments and cover the top of it it with a pergola and then surround it with arbor vitae trees and other out door decorations.  I love hot tubs in the fall and winter but I only seem to use them when I’m on vacation.

If you need help with designing a deck just pick up the phone or send us and email and we would be happy to help.