Posted by Manny DeMelo on June 18th, 2015

It’s warm, the sun is shining, and you’re ready to kick back in your yard and relax. Maybe fire up the BBQ or host a summer party.

But you have one problem – your deck. Or, maybe, lack thereof. Whether you are deckless or you just aren’t happy with your current deck, you’re itching for a new deck that suits all your needs.

There are no ready-made solutions when it comes to deck building. You need to be creative – and hire a decking contractor who is creative – to design a deck that fits your unique lifestyle and home.

Successful custom deck projects are the result of careful decision-making. Here are our tips for designing your dream deck:

1. Gather Dream Deck Ideas


Start by gathering photos of decks you love in magazines and on sites like Pinterest. These ideas are a great starting point. You’ll probably refer to them in the later phases of your deck design when you are planning the reality of your deck.

Ultimately, your decking contractor should work closely with you to help you design the ideal deck. But, it certainly makes the process go more smoothly if you have ideas about what you like and want! Knowing what you want is step one.

2. Choose an Experienced, Local Custom Deck Builder

Outdoor Deck
An experienced decking contractor will help you design a deck that works with your available space and budget.

Find a deck contractor who really cares about helping you make your dream deck a reality. If the contractor isn’t willing to take the time to really understand what you want, consider finding someone who is.

Once you have your choices narrowed down to a few decking contractors, get an estimate from each. You should also visit their rating on the Better Business Bureau, ask about previous customers you can contact for a testimonial, and ensure they have all the right paperwork (liability insurance, licence, etc).

Don’t choose a contractor based solely on price. Make sure they are reliable, professional, and dedicated to building the deck you want.

3. Consider Your Specific Space, Limitations, and Requirements


Now that you have a whole bunch of ideas and you have a trusty deck builder at your side, take a bit of time to understand what you’re working with. Your deck builder should help you through these considerations.

Firstly, what is your budget? You may have to prioritize your desires and make a few concessions if you want to stay within your available budget.

Once you have a budget, you can begin to think about your ideas and how they could work in your yard.


Here are some things to take into account:

  • What specific layouts would work with your backyard?
  • Are there any trees in the way (and if so, do you want to get rid of them or design a deck around them)?
  • How big is your yard? How big is your home? You want to make sure the deck isn’t cramped – but also that it doesn’t feel monstrous in comparison to your yard or home!
  • Is your yard flat or sloping?
  • Is your deck coming from a second storey door or a ground-level one? If your deck is up high, you’ll need to incorporate guard rails.
  • Do you want to incorporate privacy into your deck?
  • Do you want to incorporate lighting?
  • Where does the sun hit your yard at certain times of day? What about shade? Wind exposure?
  • Do you have a big BBQ to accommodate? Or maybe you want to add a hot tub or a fire pit?
  • What material do you want to use? Low maintenance decking has many advantages, but maybe you’re set on good old fashioned wood?

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about!

A well-designed deck becomes your private retreat in your own backyard. It’s important to get all the details just right, with a custom deck builder who gives good advice and is committed to making your vision a reality.

>> Quality Exterior Systems is happy to provide you with a free estimate on your custom deck project. We provide custom deck designs and obtain all necessary permits.

Visit our online photo gallery for ideas and see some of the beautiful custom decks we’ve completed in Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Niagara.

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Manny DeMelo

About Manny DeMelo

Manny DeMelo is the CEO and Owner of Quality Exterior Systems. His extensive knowledge in construction, gained through over 20 years in the industry, has made him an excellent mentor as well as an expert in his work.