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Adding a Dream Deck to Your House Plan

Published April 13, 2015

Have you been sitting indoors this winter – one of the worst in years – thinking about how nice it will be to build that new deck once spring arrives? This is the second snowiest winter on the East coast. In Boston alone, about 8.5 feet of snow fell and that was just 1.9 inches shy of the record of 107.6 inches that fell during the winter of 1996.  So if you've been dreaming of building your own deck, here is some good news. You really can build a deck that your family and friends can enjoy for endless hours of BBQs, fun and games with the kids, and a spot where the family pets can be outdoors enjoying nature?


The latest designs in decks now afford homeowners more space for entertaining, and if you are looking at some of The Plan Collection house plans, just remember that even if the specific plan does not have the desk of your dreams, this is something you can negotiate with your contractor to expand into the dream deck you envision.


Today, the home deck is really even more than just an outdoor space — it includes a kitchen, dining area, living room, relaxation area, and it can even pose sometimes as a media room with an outdoor television and/or stereo sound system for poolside parties. Decks are becoming the new backyard spa, and quickly becoming the "room" homeowners want to renovate, as they ditch the simple deck of decades past in favor of one that functions more  like an interior space. Because people primarily spend their time at home and work, they want a third place to relax, unwind and socialize with family and friends. Increasingly, the backyard is becoming that third place and that translates to more sales and more complex projects for building professionals who are involved in deck building.


The latest deck trend this year is the increase in square footage because most homeowners today want to spend more time outdoors with family and friends. Serious outdoor enthusiasts are decking their homes with everything from fire pits to deck gardens - using their decks 30 percent more than in prior years.


Homeowners used to be satisfied with a 20 X 10-foot deck which housed a simple Weber type BBQ grill, some patio furniture and a couple of pretty potted plants.  Today’s it’s more about a deck design with multiple levels and steps, each for a different purpose. We’re seeing pergolas that provide privacy, built-ins for extra seating, mini kitchens for entertaining outdoors, Jacuzzis for water therapy and planters filled with flowers, or even herbs and outdoor gardens plus there is even extra storage for function and practicality.


For anyone living in a temperate climate you know that you will use your deck year round. Most homeowners in the United States begin using their decks around February or March – through October or November – with a little help from a warm outdoor fireplace, fire pit or a propane outdoor heating lamp.


Let’s also not forget that tech trendy lighting has also extended the amount of time people spend outdoors using their decks.  Though tiki torches are passé, today's lighting is sophisticated and you’ll find low-voltage lighting that is wired into your new deck's steps, while posts offer enough illumination for safe walking. Anyone can create a mood outdoors with lights.


Grilling outdoors now demands an outdoor kitchen and this includes: a cooktop surface, grill, countertop, cabinets/storage, sink and refrigerator.)


Start planning the perfect dream desk today buy jotting down all the things you envision you and your family will really do outdoors on a deck.  There is no need to waste money on those items you may never use – but most homeowners agree that they really do enjoy their decks. Then, talk to your builder about expanding your new house plan’s decks to include the space you know you will use and enjoy for years to come, and remember it will increase the value of your home down the road.  




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