Deck Trends for this Summer

Styles come and go, but one thing we know is that decks will always be popular. Fiberon professional Craig Brewster of Apex Carpentry Inc. in Utah, shares his insights for deck trends this summer’s building season.


The last few years have brought big changes to outdoor decks. With the slowing economy and people staying in their homes longer, the deck market has changed. The size of the average deck is getting smaller, and homeowners are focusing on value and a good design suitable for their needs. Decks are still split among wood and composite comparable to the last several years, but the type of composite decking being used is changing.  With fewer new homes, houses are getting older and many homeowners have put off repairing their old decks. This means that there are more old, unsafe decks than ever before. As people stay home more, they are looking for ways to make their homes more inviting and useful.

Analysts who follow the construction industry and have evaluated housing data, predict that the market will stay slower than markets of the past, but it will grow from the low levels seen in the last couple of years.  There will be increased deck renovations and repairs. Homeowners are also seeking low maintenance decks and focusing on the deck’s long-term, as well as things that will make their deck unique.

The decking industry has responded to the needs of homeowners, and designed deck and railing products to meet their needs. The composite deck market has changed significantly over the last few years and 2011 continues that trend. The appearance of composite decking is changing and looking more like natural wood, but providing a deeper, richer look.  Most quality decking is now made with a hidden fastener system so the fasteners are not visible. They have also greatly improved the durability, stain and fade resistance of decking. Because of these improvements, top brands are now producing deck boards with a wooden core covered with plastic to improve look and durability. Boards can have the look of domestic or exotic tropical woods. Warranties have also improved as they now include stain and fade guarantees. If you have not seen what a modern composite deck can look like, you are in for a surprise.

Deck and stair railings are also changing. There are more options and styles and deck owners are discovering that the design of the railing adds personality and character. The railing no longer has to match the decking material.  Different materials and colors can be used to fit your style and budget. Metal railings are still popular and offer many options. Composite railings come in many colors and can be mixed with metal providing a custom look. Wood railings can also be mixed with metal for a unique look.  For a more finished look, post caps come in many different styles and add the finishing touch. One leading company even makes a gate that can be used with your railing or stairway to increase the safety of your deck.

Another change is in the use of deck lighting. People find that deck lighting allows them to use their deck longer and it creates a relaxed and comfortable mood. Deck lighting will also increase the safety of your deck, especially by using lights on the stairs. LED lights are coming out in many unique looks. They are small and can be put almost anywhere on your deck or railing. LED lights even offer tremendous energy savings.  They are small and can be put almost anywhere on your deck or railing.  Solar lights are also more popular than ever and are easy to install.

With all the new products and design trends in decking, it is important to consult with an experienced deck builder before building. You will enjoy your deck for many years to come if it is built properly and designed to fit your lifestyle.  Safety is also important, as deck failures are one of the leading causes of injury around homes. An experienced licensed contractor is vital in helping you design and build your deck and railing.

To learn more about Apex Carpentry, visit them on Facebook, their website or blog.

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