Designer Ideas for Decking and Outdoor Rooms

Building a deck is something homeowners want to get right on the first try, so planning is crucial before construction begins. Deck Designs, by Steve Cory, is the first stop for anyone planning to add a deck. It is filled with photographs of real-life decks, design-planning strategies and advice from top deck designers, ensuring that homeowners get it right on the first go-round.

How to Design the Deck

The most useful and satisfying deck will be one the homeowner had a hand in designing. This is a space that will be used by the very unique people living in a house, and while a designer can provide expert advice, the specifics of how a deck will be used can only come from those using it. So even when hiring a professional, be sure to take part in the design process. According to Deck Designs, here’s how:

  • Steal ideas. Begin by perusing the pages of this book.
  • Draw & Discuss. Get input from family members and sketch out ideas.
  • Make basic decisions about use of materials and functional elements.
  • Think about design elements, such as height, lines, size, shape & color.

Outdoor Living

Think of a deck as an extension of the home instead of a new space. It will make the deck more inviting and a natural part of the living area. Kitchens are a popular way to create an outdoor living space, and building a deck is the perfect time to consider this option. Having an outdoor kitchen also makes for quick entertaining and cooking. Other outdoor living spaces that should be considered on the deck include:

  • Dining area
  • Lounge area
  • Spa or hot tub
  • Paths to join the house to the deck or yard
  • Addition of Fire Pit

Decking Material

There is a large variety of decking material options from which to choose, so it’s important to understand their differences, aside from price. Pressure treated lumber comes in different types of wood depending on the area of the country where it’s purchased, and some hardwoods take to the treatment process better than others. Other material choices include synthetic decking, ironwood, redwood, cedar and treated decking.

Professional Deck Designers

Deck Designs includes a large sampling of the finished decks of four professional designers who work in different areas of the country. These top professionals share their basic design plans, tips, ideas and photographs of some of their most beautiful decks. This part of the book really contributes to the design inspiration process that no homeowner should forego.


Deck Designs is heavy on photos and ideas. The plans included are for basic conceptual purposes only and are not, on their own, enough for a homeowner to build a deck. However, this book is an excellent starting point for the most important element of adding a deck: the design process. It’s a great book to relax with and get inspiration for what looks great and works well too. The price can’t be beat for getting expert design advice.