Sizzling Summer Decks
Planning on installing a new deck or sprucing-up an existing one this season? If so, you're not alone. Decks are still among the most popular home improvements. So, what's hot in decks this summer? Here are some of the top deck trends for summer 2011:
Railings - Once merely a functional safety element, railings are now doing double duty as design statements Railings are often the first thing one notices about a deck, so manufacturers are offering more aesthetically pleasing, architecturally interesting options. Hot railing trends include decorative balusters of aluminum, iron or even cable, glass panels and railing systems that combine materials for durability, as well as visual effect.
Multiple Levels - Designers are using multiple levels to create virtual rooms for outdoor use. A main deck might function as living and dining space, while a smaller, lower level addition serves as a kitchen area, and another level might host a hot tub. Multi-level decks facilitate multiple uses and add visual interest to the overall deck structure.
Indoor Luxuries, Outdoors - Homeowners want to bring the same luxuries they enjoy indoors outside onto their decks. In response, builders are adding touches like built-in fire pits and fireplaces, full kitchens with professional grade gas grills, spas, built-in benches and cabinets, shade structures and lighting to deck designs.
New Shapes - Piano-shaped, arrowhead and even oval shapes are appearing in back yards across the country. Modern materials, improved building methods and the creativity of designers and homeowners have permanently changed the shape and size of the great American deck. For added pizzazz, you can incorporate a pattern, such as herringbone or checkerboard, into the deck surface.
Composite Materials - While some homeowners prefer wood, composite materials continue to gain popularity. Not only are they durable and often eco-friendly (as many of them are made from recycled materials), composites can now mimic the much-loved look of wood.