Decks are not built merely for their function but as a place of comfort and enjoyment, a place to talk, read, nap, or host a party. But it takes more than having a deck to enjoy your deck. Thankfully there is a wide variety of ways to make an uncomfortable deck more comfortable.
Splinters: The painful problem
Often the most uncomfortable character of a deck is the splintering wood on the deck floor itself. Decks take a lot of sun, rain, and sometimes snow and ice. It should be no surprise that the decking boards are splintered. These can be replaced with composite plastic materials that will not rot, splinter, or need to be stained. There are a growing number of inexpensive composite plastic options. And the best advantage of the composite plastic decking is the freedom to walk on the deck with bare feet. One note: Determining the joist spacing is essential here. Make certain that the joists are spread only 16-inches apart and not 24-inches. If the joists are too far apart, the plastic decking may not work.
Sun: The burning problem
A lot of decks are uncomfortable in the summer simply because they are on the West or South side of the home and get hit with direct evening sunshine. The best options here are awnings, shade sails, or a table umbrella. Many umbrellas will tilt to one side to block the sun from your eyes even when it approaches the horizon. But if an umbrella does not provide enough shade for your comfort, you may need to consider a patio or deck cover.
Bugs: The mosquito and fly problem
Some decks are uncomfortable because of a combination of direct sunshine, mosquitoes, and wind. For comfort in these situations, a complete deck cover can be installed. These act as both a covering to block the sunlight and as a screened-in porch to cut down on wind and bugs. The installation of these units is fairly simple and can be removed and stored through the winter months.
Where to sit: The seating problem
Most decks are not built with benches, and a patio set usually only offers seating for four. Often decks are uncomfortable simply because there are not enough chairs. Durable, all-weather furniture sets are a great way to take care of this problem. Many of them can be stacked and stored fairly easily when you don’t need them.
There are several conspirators to the enjoyment of your deck, but with a little planning, you can create a deck now that will provide a summer of enjoyment and relaxation.
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