Deck Planning 101!

Deck Planning 101!

Posted by Rick R. on Feb 07, 2022

Planning a deck is a process that involves creative aspects such as designing your deck, as well as logistical elements such as calculating the cost, determining where exactly your deck fits best on your property, and making sure you have the proper permits to bring your deck to life. Making sure that your design plans follow local building codes and requirements can make for a much smoother process and start you off on the right foot before you break ground. It can be quite the process—but no worries! We are here at Deck Expressions to help make your dream deck a reality.

Designing Your New Deck

The best decks start with a well-thought design that takes many elements into consideration:

--The placement of your deck in relation to your home and the landscape of your backyard

--Aesthetic and practical touches that will inform how you care for your deck in the years to come.

It’s important to seek out inspiration and gain ideas of what may work for the unique features of your home and backyard, and to see what you like and don’t like. Doing this groundwork beforehand on the merits of different types of materials, colors, and deck plans can help you better budget for your new deck, as well as having a plan for your contractor if you don’t plan to go the DIY route.


From simple-yet-elegant single-level decks to more elaborate multi-level decks with decorative inlays, browse through our image galleries to help you find your inspiration. Once you’ve seen what’s possible, we are here at Deck Expressions to help guide you to the right materials and tools you will need.

Determine Your Deck Style & Color Scheme

The style of your home and your own personal touch can help you decide on a deck that works with your homes existing features. Love the sleek look of a contemporary deck or a breezy coastal style? Do you prefer warm or cool tones of brown, tan, or grey decking? These factors can help you narrow your list of down to find the elements that work for you!

Selecting Your Decking Materials

From attractive, low-maintenance composite to pressure-treated wood, discover which deck material options are best for your needs. Learn about the up-front costs of materials, durability, and levels of maintenance involved before choosing materials for your deck.

Using a Deck Design Tool

If you want more creative freedom, there are any different deck design tools available to you on-line to help you render plans for the deck of your dreams. While these tools can be a great way to play with different levels and features you may want to incorporate, it’s important to verify any deck design’s compliance with your local building codes.

Calculating the Cost of Your Deck

The size, shape, style, and any customized features of your deck will ultimately determine the cost of materials to build your deck. You don’t want to be caught off guard, so it is important that you do your research before embarking on your journey. If you’re planning on building a more intricate deck with features such as stairs or multiple levels, decking calculators can help you more accurately calculate the materials to create your deck and the costs associated. Simply plug in your desired dimensions and use them to get estimates. There are many such respurces available.

The cost to build a deck hinges on many factors, including square footage, how elaborate your design is, and materials you plan to use. Take the time to ensure you have properly planned and budgeted. We find this video to be quite helpful!

And here's a great calculator from our friends at Trex:

Deck Permits, Building Codes & Requirements

Once you have a deck plan or design, you’ll need to be sure it complies with local building codes and regulations, as well as obtain the proper permits to build your deck. Working with local inspectors can help you be sure you have a beautiful deck that meets proper standards and requirements.

In Summary…

  • When planning your deck, it’s important to keep balance both the fun of designing a beautiful outdoor space alongside the practical aspects, such as calculating cost and making sure you have the proper permits.
  • No your costs and budget going in—don’t get caught unexpectedly mid-project!
  • When applying for a permit to build a deck, local inspectors can help you be sure your plan is within both local and National compliance!

It may all seem overwhelming—but it really is not! Contact us today at Deck Expressions and allow us to help guide you from start to finish!