Drew Scott shares his best deck design tips

We at Fiberon love a great decking makeover story. Recently we had the opportunity to work with Drew Scott, real estate whiz and star (along with his twin brother, Jonathan) of HGTV’s Brother vs. Brother. The San Francisco Bay-area property Drew was overhauling presented its share of design challenges. The one that really caught our eye was the outdoor space. The wood deck was among the worst we’ve seen: rotting boards, unstable railing and unsafe footings. Needless to say, it had to go.

To replace the dangerous, dilapidated eyesore, Drew designed a luxurious, California-cool deck space, complete with hot tub and designated dining and entertaining zones. Among his must-haves were great indoor-outdoor flow and year-round usability. To that end, Fiberon Symmetry Decking fit the bill. Unlike wood, Symmetry composite decking can be installed using hidden fasteners, so the surface is smooth and easy underfoot (just like premium indoor flooring). There are rich color options and subtle streaking to suit even the most sophisticated design aesthetic. And because composite decking is easier to maintain and more durable than wood, the lucky future homeowners will have plenty of free time to kick back and enjoy their stunning new outdoor oasis.

After the stunning transformation, Drew shared some of his can’t-miss secrets for designing and outfitting a new deck. In addition, we’ve added some tips and things you should know as you get ready to tackle your own backyard makeover.

Fiberon: When it comes to designing a new deck, where do you and Jonathan seek inspiration?

Drew: We definitely draw inspiration from inside the home. A great deck should feel like an extension of your indoor living space. 

Indoor-quality furnishings and composite decking installed with hidden fasteners add up to an outdoor space with all the comfort and style of chic, indoor living areas. Shown here: Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Warm Sienna

Fiberon: Any special tips when selecting a deck board color or railing?

Drew: The aesthetic of your deck is important, as it needs to tie in with your overall design, but so is the quality and longevity of your product. I love using a composite material like Fiberon because it lasts far longer than a traditional wooden deck or rail. Especially if you’re looking to sell your home, buyers look very closely at the types of materials you use and what their ongoing maintenance costs will be. 

Fiberon: We talk a lot about creating designated cooking, eating, and entertaining zones on decks. What’s the best way to accomplish this, particularly if the deck is not multi-level?

Drew: My top tips would be:

  • Work with your deck and outdoor area the same way you would work out your floor plan for inside your home.
  • Keep any dining or outdoor kitchen components closer to the kitchen entrance of your home.
  • If you have outdoor access coming from the master bedroom, use this as more of a lounging or seating area.
  • Designated walking paths are important, so make sure any of your features like a hot tub, dining table, or outdoor kitchen have ample space for you to move.
  • And remember, sometimes less is more with a smaller deck space.

A basic deck design doesn’t mean boring. This Fiberon Horizon deck in Ipe has plenty of wow factor, plus designated areas for grilling, dining, and quiet conversation.

Fiberon: What are some things homeowners often overlook when planning a deck?

Drew: Bigger is not always better. You have to make sure that your deck size is appropriate for the size of your home. Also if it’s so big that your green space is basically nonexistent, it may turn buyers off. Always think about the height of your deck. Try to make it as seamless as possible when you’re stepping out of your house. You don’t want any trip hazards. 

Design your composite deck to be level with your indoor space to minimize potential trip hazards. And, since Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Warm Sienna looks like elegant hardwoods, you can easily extend the indoor style, outdoors.

Fiberon: When it comes to accessorizing a deck, how do you determine a design aesthetic or color palette?

Drew: Once we know what our overall design theme will be, we tie all our materials into that look. For example on Season Six of our show Brother vs Brother, we had a California Modern Ranch home and an Eco-Chic home. Since the California Modern Ranch aesthetic was all about natural materials and pulling inspiration from the outdoors, we used more earth tones and our deck had a great wood grain finish. For the Eco-Chic design the deck had a slightly more modern feel with gray undertones. 

Symmetry Decking in Graphite and Symmetry Railing in Serene Black provide the ideal backdrop for a cool, contemporary outdoor space. Streamlined furniture plus soft gray and sunny yellow accessories complete the scene.

Fiberon: What are your favorite 2018 looks/trends in decking or deck accessories?

Drew: Planters that are flush to the deck and recessed lighting around the perimeter grow more popular every year. 

Fiberon: Any “must-have’s” when you are outfitting an outdoor space?

Drew: Clustering your conversation areas is key. Even a smaller deck shouldn’t just have one area to sit and chat. Create a couple of defined space to entertain. 

Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Graphite was used here to create a beach house deck with plenty of entertaining space.

Fiberon: Name the top three design mistakes people make when accessorizing their outdoor space?


  1. Using scratchy, plastic-like outdoor rugs. Our Scott Living outdoor rugs are prime example of the soft, high-quality outdoor rugs you can get that will stand up to weather conditions.
  2. Using heavy furniture pieces without protecting the deck. The same as your hardwood floors inside, the bottom of your furniture pieces will scratch or damage your deck. You can get protective pads to use if needed.
  3. Trying to cram too many features into one cluster. Having a fireplace, fire pit, dining area, TV, and who knows what else all in one space may be too much. Look for ways that you can separate clusters to maximize the use of space without putting too much in one zone.

Fiberon: And similarly, what are your top do’s and don’ts when selecting outdoor furniture?


  1. DO add color. Many people are afraid to add color and just stick to earth tones that match the outdoors.
  2. DON’T go overboard with your seating. If you love entertaining that’s great, but you still have to have appropriately sized furniture on your deck.

Pops of bright orange, offset by cool blue tones, add energy to this seating nook without overpowering it. Shown here: Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Burnt Umber with Symmetry Railing in Tranquil White.

Fiberon: Could you each share a favorite deck design or deck project you’ve worked on in the past?

Drew: In Galveston, Texas we both created amazing outdoor spaces out of a relatively small area to work with. We really wanted to show how even a small deck can make for the perfect backdrop for some big parties!!


Picture-perfect and party-ready: Outfitted with Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Warm Sienna, this smaller-scale deck still allows plenty of space for grabbing a drink, enjoying a bite, and plenty of socializing.

Get the definitive guide to decking, and get going on your new outdoor space!


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