Deck Styles - Design elements and material choices

Deck Styles - Design elements and material choices
Posted: Feb 19, 2016
Categories: Outdoor, Decking
Comments: 1

To work out the best style and design for your deck have a think about what you are planning to use it for, your budget and what size space you have to build in. The following will start your inspiration flowing.


Overall Deck Style


A functional and stylish option is to consider a multi-level design for your deck. This style is great for sloped areas where space needs to be optimised and it also makes for a great feature in your backyard. You can choose a short distance between layers giving a mezzanine effect or a more dramatic distance for a more distinct area separation.

If you have enough suitable space for a multi-level deck you can set each level to be a different type of usable space, for example a second level can be used to break up the cooking space, or add some extra seating. A multi-level design allows for a little more creativity with only a little additional work.

Railings or No Railing?


Depending on the height of your deck you may not have a choice, but if it’s low enough (for example as an extension of your flat indoor area) you can opt for no railings which offers a more sweeping outdoor/indoor flow. When selecting the material consider the temperatures and weather extremes in your local areas as this can have a significant impact on maintenance.

If you do need or want a railing, your options are plentiful. Below are a few options ranging from economical, practical options such as timber (or composite) paneling through to full glass for a more trendy look. When choosing your design, have a think about how much air flow you want on the deck; if you’re having a railing, thinner timber panels or aluminium allow more air flow, but there are also council requirements to consider here again.


Timber Paneling

The most cost effective option.


There are many options for introducing a bit of flair to your timber through enhancing the balustrades. You can enhance the balustrades through topping caps on each post or stylised paneling.

Consider maintenance on your timber railings; if you are staining or painting how will your local weather conditions impact this? How often will you need to maintain the deck?



A stylish, more modern yet expensive option.


This is a very modern style but adds additional cost to any deck build, keep in mind you’ll also need expert help to install the glass. If you need a cost effective solution but are sold on glass consider using a glass and timber or aluminium combination.

If you are opting for a glass railing think about how this will look with the rest of the backyard – glass works in a modern environment but if you are wanting a green, natural ambiance be cautious of the impact the glass will have (note you may also need aluminium or timber posts to hold the railings in place). 

If you live in an area with weather extremes this option will be able to withstand the test of time as long as you use a quality product and installer.



This can be a less obtrusive and relatively low cost option for your deck.


Using aluminium is another option to timber; it can be coloured, shaped and you can have varying degrees of space between panels.

Further to using aluminium you can also opt for a wire railing that can disappear into a bush backdrop. This can be tied in with a timber framing as well to give a more natural look if your back drop is a paradise of lush greenery.



Timber, metal or a combination of the both.


This style adds an element of flair without increasing cost too much. It can also be used for a small space on the deck to highlight an area, or fit a corner that would otherwise have a sharper traditional edge.


While you are considering the overall design it pays to have a think about the type of roofing you may want. We won’t go into that detail just yet but ponder over how much light you want to let in, what style you like and what your budget is. If you get the railings right your roofing options will be a lot easier as you will find the roofing ties in with the railing. 


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1 comments on article "Deck Styles - Design elements and material choices"


Kira, 1/3/2017 5:03 AM

If you want to freshen your deck, explore siding options like cable railings. If you’ve invested in a deck, chances are that you want to spend as much time on it as possible and that you want to enjoy the panoramic views. One of the possible solutions is cable railings. These cost about $70 for each foot if you’re looking to have a professional install for you. You can save and only fork out about $25 a foot, if you’re feeling handy.

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