All decked out for summer

By Andrey Sokolov, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

When building a deck consider how functional you want it to be in order to maximize your usage of it. Supplied

When building a deck consider how functional you want it to be in order to maximize your usage of it. Supplied

Camrose is beautiful city, especially during the summer when everyone is outside enjoying everything Camrose has to offer. When winter is a past memory and summer is in full swing, we take full advantage of the amazing weather; many of us taking to our own backyard. I know it may be hard to be believe but spring is right around the corner. 


Having a deck on your property provides additional space to enjoy, and it can become its own oasis perfect for a close escape. It’s great for entertaining or relaxing. You can sit and mingle with your guests while enjoying the wind blowing through your hair and the radiant sun warming your skin.  

However, if you don’t have a deck, you might not realize what you’re missing out on. Here are some helpful tips to take you in the right direction when you’re ready to deck out your home. 

The reason for the deck 

Let’s start with the most important question that needs to be addressed. Ask yourself what the ultimate purpose is for the deck you’re looking to build? If the purpose of your deck is so you and your spouse can sit outside and enjoy a nice book, then a small, elegant deck is likely all you need.  

If you’re looking to have the entire neighbourhood over for a party, then you’re looking at building something larger to accommodate all those people.  

This is the ultimate question to start with answering because this will be the biggest determining factor of what kind of deck you’re going to build. 

How will you access your deck 

Now that you’ve addressed the primary question, you can start asking the supporting questions. For example, are you going to want to have a set of stairs to get down to your yard from the deck? If so, where are the stairs going to go?  

Depending on your yard and style of home you have, putting your stairs on the side of your deck might be beneficial because you won’t be sacrificing too much of your yard. And putting stairs to your yard isn’t mandatory, so don’t feel like it’s a must do.  When my wife and I built our last home we didn’t want stairs because it would have blocked the view of the lake we lived on. It also prevented our young children from falling down those stairs as well.  

The finishes for your deck

The decking and railing is where your budget can really fluctuate. Once you’ve determined the purpose of your deck, the next think you need to decide is what kind of finish you want on your deck. 

Decking options include pressure treated wood, cedar, composite, and vinyl. To give you an example of how your budget can fluctuate based on your selection, pressure treated decking can cost about $0.70 per linear foot where composite decking (depending on the brand) can range from about $1.99 to $5.14 per linear foot. So it’s easy to see how your budget on materials can triple in price.  

The cost of the railing usually fluctuates just as much, depending on if you’re looking at doing a wood, aluminium or glass handrail. Even though the cost of composite decking and aluminium railing is typically significantly more, they both provide a maintenance-free option, whereas the pressure treated wood deck eventually will need to be either painted or stained. 

Also, it’s important before you start construction of your deck that you check with your municipality for what setbacks and permits are required. Actually, most people don’t realize that permits are required for a deck and there are typically rules and guidelines to follow. 

Having a functional deck that allows you to expand your home and create another space for enjoyment, but doing your deck properly the first time will give you an outdoor space that should last for many years. 

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