Add a New Deck Feature

by Jane VanOsdol on May 18, 2011

Many of us are ready to start some summertime living outdoors—just as soon as the weather cooperates. While we’re waiting for that to happen, why not take advantage of the time to make sure that your outdoor space is ready for another season of entertaining and relaxation? Now’s a good time to clean, repair and spruce up the area.

As you’re giving your deck the once over, you may decide that you want to add some extra deck features to pump up the design and make it more functional. Here are a few suggestions for this home improvement.

  • Add a railing. If you have a lower level deck, you may have built it with open sides. Adding a railing can certainly boost its curb appeal, as well as help curtail your toddlers and preschoolers, especially if you add a gate too.  Another advantage of installing a railing is that you can add flower boxes to the top of the railing for a splash of color. There’s much to choose from on the market as far as railings go. You could choose traditional wood, but composite railing is another possibility. It’s easy to take care of, won’t rot and looks classy.
  • Add a pergola. Pergolas bring an interesting architectural element to decks, as well as providing a bit of a shield from the sun’s rays. They also create a natural conversational area. Simply add a small table and chairs invitingly placed underneath the pergola. Pergolas are also a perfect support for vining plants. Plant a vine like cardinal climber in big pots at the base of each post and secure jute or other twine from the base of the posts all the way up and across the top of the pergola. Cardinal climber is a prolific grower with red, trumpet-shaped flowers that hummingbirds adore. You’ll enjoy the show the hummingbirds will put on all summer.
  • Add a privacy screen. If you live on a crowded street and your next-door neighbor is just too close for comfort, have your local deck building company install a vertical privacy screen for you. This will create both a visual and acoustical barrier between your house and theirs. Make sure that the screen is anchored and braced so that it doesn’t blow down. If your neighbor isn’t too close, and you just want to enhance your privacy without completely blocking your view, then go with a lattice screen instead. It will give you a bit of privacy but still let in air and light.

Adding a new feature to your deck will only add to your enjoyment of it when those sunny summer days finally arrive.

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