The arrival of sun and climbing temperatures mark the end of months of hibernation. And it’s the perfect time to refresh your outdoor living spaces with easy-to-tackle projects that can be done in a few weekends. Whether you are building a new deck from the bottom-up or updating your existing space, Trex offers these tips to help move you seamlessly through the process.

Trex Transcend decking in Spiced Rum adds zest to an outdoor space.

Do Your Homework
Before the designing begins, there’s work to be done. Contact your local building department and homeowner’s association to determine requirements and restrictions for building your deck. Obtaining required permits can take weeks, so it’s never too early to start. Also check with your local utility company to locate any underground wires, cables or pipes on your property.

Boost Your Creativity
Once that’s done, determine the type of outdoor living space that will fit your family’s needs and complement your existing home’s exterior and architecture. Flip through pages of your favorite magazines, peruse online inspiration via Houzz or Pinterest, and experiment with online virtual applications. Trex’s deck design tools, including our iPad Visualizer, make this process easy and fun, allowing you to test colors and configurations. Once you create a pleasing design, save it to show to your local deck builder or take to the lumberyard.

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Make Materials Matter
If you want to spend more time enjoying - rather than maintaining - your deck, choose materials that need only a simple soap and water cleaning to keep a "like new" appearance for decades. The latest generation in wood-alternative Trex decking resists fading, staining, scratching and mold growth - even after years of heavy foot traffic and exposure to the elements. A variety of decking lines is available to fit nearly every budget.

Design With Distinction
Extending the indoors out is the latest trend in design. Whether country cottage or mostly modern, select a style and color scheme for your deck that best complements your home's exterior and reflects your natural surroundings. Trex decking, for instance, features 17 rich, nature-inspired colors - such as deep-burnished bronze, earthy brown, pristine grey and spicy red. Don’t forget railing – after all, it’s where you can best express your personal style. Our modular components and variety of baluster options are designed to let you easily mix and match colors, finishes and materials any way you wish. Keep in mind that decks and railings no longer need to be simple squares – curves add visual appeal to your design. Finally, consider using a hidden fastener system during installation. A deck surface without visible nails or screws can be an attractive extension of your home's interior style and create a more comfortable environment for children and pets.

Don't forget finishing touches
Today's outdoor living spaces may be "decked out" with luxuries ranging from stainless steel appliances in your outdoor kitchen to flat screen televisions and stone fire pits. Pergolas provide shade in a visually pleasing way. If budget constraints don't allow such grand plans, try built-in flower boxes, benches and colorful furniture. Trex Outdoor Furniture is not only comfortable and durable but it’s made from 90% recycled materials.

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Follow these five steps and you’ll create many enjoyable memories long before the weather turns cold again.