Libby Smoot, November 01, 2016

Seven Tips For Designing Your Next Trex Deck

While outdoor living season is winding down in most of the country, there’s no better time to start planning your dream deck. Prep work is a big part of the process – much of which can be done now and throughout the cooler months to get your backyard retreat ready for spring.

Trex Transcend decking in Gravel Path surrounds this smart home pool in Florida.

Here are some quick tips to help you get started designing a Trex deck:

Get digitally inspired
Countless online resources can get your creative juices flowing. A great starting point is perusing outdoor living projects posted on social media channels, including the Trex Houzz and Pinterest pages.

Trex.com can spark your creativity, too. Our Inspiration Gallery showcases hundreds of decks in various sizes and styles, while our "Trexperts" video series walks you through the planning process. The videos feature HGTV design experts Paul Lafrance and Kate Campbell who combine their experience with humor and chutzpah as they answer some of the more perplexing questions about deck building, such as things to consider when starting your project, comparing Trex composite decking versus wood, and how to tell Trex from its competitors.

This screened-in deck features Trex Transcend in Island Mist, a beautiful streaked grey.

Dive into design
Though you may not realize it, designing an outdoor deck starts with the same questions as planning interior rooms, such as whether it will be used for relaxing, grilling or socializing. Determine how to incorporate those activities into deck comfort zones and explore the possibilities with online deck designers and tools.

Trex's Deck Design Plans help you narrow your focus even more with a few basic and versatile deck designs already created for you. Once you select a design, the tool provides the details of the deck’s dimensions and the decking materials needed, as well as an overview of the design’s benefits so that you can be assured you are selecting the ideal layout for your planned outdoor living activities.

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Decide on decking details
Have fun exploring the many design elements available for customizing your deck. Your color palette is a key consideration and Trex has lots of them. Choose from a spectrum of fade-resistant decking colors in varying tones and grain patterns. To see which color works best with your home's design, order a 12-inch sample and have it shipped directly to your door.

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Don't forget about railing styles
As one of the most visible parts of a deck, railing should be considered from the outset. With a wide array of styles, shapes and materials, railing can be coordinated or contrasted with your decking. To help simplify the selection process, Trex's Decking & Railing Duos offer customized, designer-curated railing looks to choose from. This online tool provides a user-friendly way for you to explore the latest trends and find a perfectly paired look for your needs.

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Finishing touches
More and more homeowners want their outdoor spaces to be an extension of the indoors - creating functional yet aesthetically pleasing spaces that reflect a cohesiveness in their personal style and design. You’ll need to decide early in the planning process if you want to incorporate features such as built-in seating, planters and outdoor storage and kitchens, as well as elements such as a pergola, spiral stairs or outdoor lighting. These features add comfort, character and convenience to your space while showcasing your unique touch.

Understand costs and value
To ensure your dream deck remains within reach, keep costs in mind. Several factors will affect the price, including the size and shape, along with any extras you incorporate. Our cost calculator helps establish a ballpark estimate for building a Trex deck, and our Find a Dealer link directs you to local retailers who can help provide detailed costs.

When evaluating value, think beyond the initial material and labor costs and think about the long-term payoff. Even with regular care, a wood deck will show its age. Over the life of a composite deck, the reduced maintenance costs of simple soap and water cleanings help balance out expenses over the long run – not to mention the value of all the time spent enjoying the deck rather than maintaining it. Our Trexpert video helps you separate fact from fiction as you research costs.

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Do It Yourself of Do It For Me
One of the most important drivers of cost is whether you DIY or hire a deck builder. Whatever you decide, Trex can help. Our DIY checklist tracks your progress, while our installation videos answer questions that arise. If you prefer to let a professional tackle the job, you can find one of our specially trained TrexPro deck builders in your area with the contractor search on our website.

If you plan to hire a deck builder, the time of year can also impact cost. Many builders have long lead times during peak spring and summer months. Building off season, when contractors are not as busy, can lead to a quicker build and may even provide a discounted rate on labor.

With these tips and a small investment of time, you can have the deck of your dreams built and ready for your enjoyment by spring.