Decking Design for Dummies


The Missing Pieces of Every Home.

Decking design should be required for anyone considering getting a deck. All of these tips and ideas I’m about to show you work on wooden and composite decking styles. I highly recommend you add this to your repertoire before inviting the family over to the next BBQ!

In Madison, Wisconsin you might be surprised to see a huge number of patios and decks. Despite our snowy season, our residents are highly enthusiastic about the summer. And I like to think every deck is a small homage to Summer’s warm embrace. But what I tend to see a lot of is poor decking design. Despite a well built deck covered in strong wooden beams, it’s often a bit bare. Perhaps covered in old miscellaneous furniture and a somewhat sturdy grill (looking at you college students)! But it doesn’t have to be that way. For under $300, you can make your deck an island summer paradise. And for under $50, you can make it a great night time hangout.

  1. LED Tiki Torches $50.00
    They are safe, wood-friendly, eco-friendly, but they still provide that nice ambient lighting like you’re in an island resort. I recommend wrapping them to your main posts or the corners of your deck with twine for an extra nautical touch.
  2. Stringed Lights $9.00
    If you own a deck, I guarantee more people will hangout with you for longer with stringed lights. There is something so enticing about a small amount of lights wrapping the main posts like in this picture. It really adds an air of wonder. Plus, if you celebrate the winter season with tons of lights, I bet you have a few perfectly suited for this task!
  3.  Siding Hangers $11.00This is probably an overlooked feature of siding! It’s unique overlapping design allows you to place hangers on the siding. I’ll admit, we at Legacy Exteriors haven’t tested this ourselves, but as long as you keep the weight less than 30 lbs, I don’t see anything wrong with this.  It’s a great way to hang potted plants, those stringed lights, or concrete fixtures for a bit of class.
  4.  Garden Steps $200.00 (price may vary)
    This one definitely takes some skill and a lot of time. But I found it online and had to share it. The key here is playing it simple and safe. These renovators added slats that cover up their under deck entirely. It gives it a much fuller feel and provides them with this space for gardening. The price point here may be a lot less than your experience if you have to hire someone to build it and if you buy “premium” materials. But in this thread, we’re assuming our audience is skilled and thrifty!
  5.  Lastly, we have a Patio Bar – $50.00
    This is by far my favorite addition to a full-size patio because it’s so functional and so easy. All you need is a 1×4 slab of wood that can reach from one post to the next. Then just cut up a few of 2×4’s to support the bar along the length of your patio. It’s a pretty extensive renovation for a newbie, but it’s definitely doable. The real key here is to pay attention to the ends and the mid lengths of your patio! They have to meet the right weight requirements. All in all, if you build it up to spec, it’s a cheap and really effective way to upgrade your patio to the hangout place it was always meant to be!

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