As you plan a new deck for your home, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Your design must look good, of course, and you’ll have to stay within your budget. You’ll also want to make sure you’re utilizing builders who are qualified and insured, or that you are capable of doing the work yourself.
But the plan for a deck goes far beyond its railing. One of the central elements you should always try to keep in mind is the view that you’ll be able to enjoy when the project is complete. Of course, you’ll be able to see far beyond your own yard from this new vantage point, but much of what you see will still be the immediate area around your home.
So as you’re getting all the construction planning done, remember that this exciting addition to your home calls for a good design throughout your property.
Don’t Buy Cross-Seasonal Seed Mixes
Most of what you see from anywhere outside your home is grass. For that reason, the establishment and maintenance of good turf are critical to the quality of the view from your deck–or from any other place in or around your home. That starts with choosing the best grass seed for your climate and site.
One mistake many people make is buying seed mixes. These products bill themselves as having green grass year-round, but that’s about half true. They contain seeds of both cool-season grasses, like fescues, and warm-season grasses, like bermudagrass.
These two categories are polar opposites. Cool-season grasses green up at the first warmth of spring, then go dormant during summer’s heat before greening up again in the cooler fall months. Warm-season species don’t become active until hotter months and return to dormancy at the first frost. So a product that mixes seed from both will give you a blotchy, crazy-quilt lawn that’s never entirely green.
There’s always something beautiful to see outdoors, no matter the time of year. Wintertime highlights sturdy evergreens often dusted in a layer of snow. Spring sees the explosion of color as flowers emerge, many of which carry through the summer. Autumn ignites the landscape in dazzling tones before the cycle repeats.
The seasonal evolution of the landscape is something that should be carefully managed. Resist the temptation to mix these species, and instead focus on creating areas in the landscape for each season. Your evergreens can be joined by a bird feeder for winged winter visitors, who can also splash around in a bird bath with your summer roses. Another part of the yard can feature brilliant maples for a big splash of color as the warm weather winds down. And early-flowering dogwoods and redbuds can make a beautiful foreground for your deck view.
Mind The Sun
Of course, you can only enjoy the view if you aren’t fighting the glare of the sun. This is largely determined by the location and angle of your home, but you can work around those late-day rays if you make some adjustments to your landscape.
As we think back to our wintertime evergreens, remember that their dense, perpetual foliage is a great screen against bright sun. Situate a row of spruce or firs on the sunlit side of your yard to make sure you can enjoy the deck without sunglasses.
The deck itself can help. You can assemble adjustable screens that can deflect some sunlight when needed, then open up for illumination at other times.
It’s also worth noting that good exposure to the sun for your steps can remove ice and rainfall from them more quickly, making them safer and more durable.
A deck is just one element of your home that provides enjoyment the landscape. Tying the two parts together will enhance the overall experience from the deck as well as in the yard.