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10 Ways to Improve Your Deck

A deck not only improves your quality of life, but it is also an excellent investment: Remodelling Magazine's "Value Report 2007" found that good quality decking which enhances your outdoor space can make your home more attractive to buyers and owners stand to recoup 85% of the cost of installation. A competent handyman can undertake the construction of a simple deck, but for a well-designed, customised project, it is a good idea to consult a specialist firm.

If your existing deck is looking tired and you are not getting as much use from it as you would like, there are many ways to make it a more appealing place to entertain your friends, play with the kids, or sit back and relax.

1. Railings



Railings are not only essential for safety, they are a feature that can enhance the design of your deck. Achieve a contemporary look with steel wires or horizontal timber slats, or, for a period property, go for a more traditional style. If you would like a little shelter from breezes, try frosted glass panels. When designing your railings consider the Building Code of Australia’s regulations, which require railings to be a minimum of one metre high.

2. Screens



Perhaps the view from your deck is not very appealing, or maybe you need privacy: screens are the answer. Lattice screens are an attractive feature, while small slat screens look good in a relaxed, rustic setting.

3. Shade



Overhead screens to create some shade will make your deck more comfortable during the hotter months. Use panels of outdoor fabric in a vibrant print or subtle stripes for an inexpensive way to change the look of your outdoor space.

4. Containers



Plants in tall containers are excellent for adding vertical emphasis when set against railings. Try canna lilies for height, filled in with coleus and lantana for long-lasting pops of colour. Round or square pots overflowing with a lavish planting of annuals will soften the hard lines of the deck. Hanging baskets are another must-have item that will extend the colourful theme upwards, and they can easily be changed to suit the season.

5. Potting Bench



For gardeners, a deck is a superb place to set up a potting bench which includes some storage. You will be able to sow your seeds and pot on seedlings in comfort, and the storage will be useful for pots, tools, and packets of seeds.

6. Rugs



Give your outdoor space a comfortable feel and add some colour and texture with a rug. Modern outdoor rugs come in a wide range of designs, and you can complement your colour schemes or add a highlight of a contrasting shade. Rugs can be used to define different areas of the deck, and also prevent dirt being carried indoors.

7. Paint



One of the most budget-friendly ways to give your deck a new lease of life is to choose a colour scheme and get busy with the paintbrushes. Use different shades of one colour to unify your design, or go for contrasts to highlight certain areas. For example, use soft grey-blue over the floor, white on the railings, and add pops of bright blue on furniture and containers.

8. Lighting



A sure way to extend the time you can spend on your deck is to install some lighting, perhaps wired into the screening. It does not need to be as powerful as you would require indoors. For reading or other tasks requiring good light, a table lamp is the ideal solution. For background lighting, energy-saving solar powered lights can look very attractive and provide a gentle, ambient light. Candles in suitable holders give a romantic feel, and are an excellent choice for parties.

9. Cushions and Pillows



To encourage your guests to spend more time on your deck, furnish it with comfortable and colourful cushions and pillows. Cushions covered with an outdoor fabric can be left outside in all weathers and they will make any seating arrangement look more appealing.

10. Furniture



Consider the ways in which you use your deck: is it for relaxing and chatting, for formal dining, or is it more often a play area for the kids? Carefully chosen furniture will improve your deck and make it easier and more comfortable to use.

Author Bio: WA Timber Decking is a Perth based Timber Decking specialist who supply decking timber and decking supplies for the handyman, DIYer and builder. WA Timber Decking can assist with timber deck designs, installations and maintenance.