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Deck Design Ideas & Tips

Creating the perfect deck takes planning. From choosing the best deck materials, to picking the right finishes and accessories, you can create a deck that works for you, as well as one that is truly unique. We’ll show you some ideas and tips to help you build the deck of your dreams.

How Will Your Deck Be Used?

Decks can be used in a variety of ways including adding existing living and entertaining space to your home and as an alternative to an outdoor area like a stone patio. They give you extra space to have your friends and family over for a barbeque, host a party in your backyard or settle in for a cozy evening by yourself, the possibilities are endless.

Depending on what you’re using your deck for, there are lots of options including lumber or material type, finishes and accessories to ensure that your deck is both beautiful and built to last.

Deck Size and Shape Ideas

Depending on the space you are building your deck in, you can get as creative as you want with your deck shape and size. A large yard is perfect for a big deck, great for adding an entertaining area with perhaps a barbeque and seating, while a smaller yard would accommodate a smaller deck.

Platform decks are built at ground level and do not require support posts or railings. Freestanding decks don't require any attachment to your home - giving you freedom to put them where you need. A raised deck needs railings but can give you a great view of the surrounding area and a wrap-around deck can make great use of your property size and shape.

Deck shapes can be entirely customized depending on the space you have and the features you’re looking for, so get creative!

Four different types of deck board layouts are pictured including modular, chevron, herringbone and framed designs.

Deck Board Pattern Ideas

The board pattern that you choose can really make your deck stand out. A modular design has a more traditional look while a chevron pattern adds some visual flare to your deck. You can even frame the outside of the deck with your boards laid diagonally in the center for another great-looking option. The choice is yours, so consider different looks before getting started with your build.

Deck Material and Colour

The material you choose for your deck is important and should be chosen based not only on your budget, but on the type of deck you’re building, your climate and the usage that you’re expecting.

While pressure-treated lumber is the most common material used in Canada, other materials have qualities that you may want to consider as well. Composite decking, for instance, does not rot, crack or warp and is a great option of you’ll be using your deck frequently or expect a lot of foot traffic. Cedar is another great option that is naturally rot-resistant and has a beautiful grain, texture and colour.

Be sure to compare all of your options before deciding on the type of material you’ll use.

Ideas for Deck Railings and Stairs

Depending on your local code, your deck may require railings if it is above a certain height. You also may just want them for decoration. Either way, you’ve got lots of options when choosing deck railings. They’re typically made from the same material that you use for your deck, so if you’ve got a wooden deck, your railings would most likely be wood as well.

Stairs are also an integral part of any multi-level deck design and can even be used on single-tier decks that are slightly elevated. They will also be made of the same material as your deck and can be added to any or all of the sides, or to access different levels with ease.

Add Style with Lighting, Plants and Décor

When it comes to adding the finishing touches to your deck, simple deck ideas like lighting, greenery and accessories can really make it yours.

Lighting is key, especially of you plan on entertaining at night. Railing and stair lights can make getting around after dark much easier, while ambient lighting like fairy lights or rope lights hanging above your deck can add a trendy touch. You could even use LED colour-changing lights for added effect.

Adding plants and greenery to your space can also help to not only visually separate areas, but they can add a beautiful, green aesthetic to your deck, with flowers of your choice adding even more colour and style.

Finally, choose some trendy patio furniture to finish the look. Whether you’re looking for a small conversation set or a full lounging area with a chaise or sectional couch, you can create a spectacular entertainment area on your deck for family and friends to enjoy.

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