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Decks As Outdoor Rooms
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Decks are wonderful extensions of a house, serving a wide range of functions. They can be used for sunbathing, exercising, serving food, living quarters, entertaining guests, spending time alone, and for catching a view of nature. Outdoor rooms, such as decks, differ greatly from ordinary indoor rooms, but the main difference is that outdoor rooms allow you to experience the suns warmth, the fresh scents of nature, and the ever so beautiful sky.

One of the more attractive decking materials includes that of redwood. Redwood is an extremely durable material and also one that is very aesthetically pleasing. By using this material, you will be creating a focal point to your home. Keep in mind; the beauty of wood comes with a price tag. Also, wood deck surfaces require periodic treatments with synthetic wood preservatives and sealants. These products minimize damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet light and water. Alternative decking materials include virgin vinyl, recycled plastics or plastic resins and combinations of wood dust or fibers.

There are several different deck designs to choose form. They can range from simple platforms to multi-level projects using a variety of unique pathways, railings, shapes and amenities. Raised decks are a popular design element. A raised deck can expand your view, catch cool breezes, and ensure privacy.

It is important to keep in mind that when installing an outdoor room or deck, concrete footings will provide the best support for framing. Footings are usually required to support structures attached to homes. Tops of footings should extend 6 inches above ground and should be inclined outward to prevent water collection and stop decay and insects from making a home. Depending on what you plan to have resting on your deck, spas, planters, benches; you should consult with the local building codes regarding structural regulations.

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