8 Tips for Building a Modern Deck

Modern decks are an excellent way to transform your outdoor space and make it stand out. They add serenity and comfort to your landscape while extending your living space. A modern deck provides optimal functionality, embraces clean aesthetics, and often utilizes innovative materials. It’s a creative way to boost your home’s curb appeal while increasing its value.

Adding a deck to your backyard provides a luxurious space to host family, friends, and small festivities such as birthdays. With the right strategies, you can create a beautiful, long-lasting deck. Below are eight tips for building a modern deck.

  1. Choose a deck design

Selecting the right design suitable for functionality and personal preferences is crucial when building a modern deck. You can choose a style that compliments or clashes with your interiors. When choosing a modern deck design, consider the addition’s purpose. For instance, if you have outdoor entertaining, you’ll require enough for guests, built-in seats, a grill, and even a bar. Knowing why you need a deck will help you pick the right design.

The best deck design should have the right balance between functionality and aesthetics. Picking a deck design can be challenging. Regardless of whether you’re considering partially or fully covered deck designs, a landscaping professional can advise you to make the best choice. They can also help customize a unique deck design for your outdoor space, making it stand out.

  1. Make a deck-building budget

Modern decks are costly home additions. A deck budget is essential because it determines the design, materials, accessories, and labor costs needed to construct your deck. Your deck size also affects your budget because it affects the material used and the required installation time. Where you reside influences cost. Rural areas usually have lower labor costs than urban areas. Your modern deck will require waterproofing, so add that to your budget. You’ll also need an under-deck drainage system and other optional additions like an outdoor kitchen, hot tubs, pergolas, and more.

  1. Get a deck-building permit

While local building codes vary from state to state, permits are a significant requirement for improvement projects that alter your home’s structure or size or change its plumbing or electrical. Since many decks attach to the property and exceed specific height and size limits, you might need a permit to build a modern deck.

A building permit will motivate you and your contractors to adhere to your locality’s building and zoning codes, whose priority is safety. Failure to secure a building permit may result in a lawsuit, fines, or the demolition of the newly built deck. When working with landscaping professionals, they’ll get the permit and review local laws to ascertain their work is within code.

  1. Select decking materials

When choosing deck materials, consider aesthetics, price range, maintenance needs, how long you wish to stay in that home, and how you utilize your outdoor space. There are various decking materials to consider, including plastic, wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. These materials have pros and cons, so assess each to determine if they suit your needs. Wood is a popular decking material with several options, such as pressure-treated wood, cedar and redwood, and tropical hardwoods. It’s affordable and gives your deck a natural look. However, its maintenance is labor-intensive and may require regular replacement, except for exotic hardwoods.

Plastic decking requires low maintenance and is durable, but it’s expensive. It can get very hot during summer, and its appearance tries to imitate a natural wood’s look. Fiberglass decking materials are durable and suitable for extreme temperatures. Their upfront monetary outlay is very high. Aluminum decking is long-lasting and doesn’t require constant maintenance to continue looking good. However, it’s costlier than wood, and its synthetic appearance doesn’t compare to natural wood.

  1. Consider the deck’s location

If you have multiple potential deck locations, picking the best can be challenging. This is due to the multiple elements you must consider to ensure your modern deck placement benefits your home’s functionality and architectural appeal. To choose an appropriate deck-building site, consider privacy, how you’ll access it, and its function. You should also look at sun exposure and the views around your property to identify the ideal deck installation location.

  1. Choose deck height

When deciding on an ideal deck height, consider your house. If the deck is too high, accessing it may be difficult, and when it’s too low, seeing over it can be challenging. If you are using your deck for entertainment, make it higher to ensure your visitors have an excellent view of the surroundings. For a relaxation deck, building it lower would be perfect to make it easier to enjoy the outdoors. Your region’s climate is another factor to consider when deciding deck height.

If you reside in a snowy area, a higher deck would be ideal to let snow slide off rather than accumulate. If your locality experiences a lot of rain, build a lower deck to avoid water pooling. The surrounding terrain and the fence around your property can also impact your chosen deck height.

  1. Add deck lights

Lighting is a perfect way to bring your modern deck to life. It helps highlight your backyard features while offering your family and guests safety. You can use discreet lighting to establish a showpiece deck for a welcoming ambiance. In addition, you can leverage statement lights to create a beautiful focal point and recessed lights for a colored glow effect.

You can explore side mount, post cap, stair and step, under rail, and landscape light designs and styles to determine what suits your deck better. Based on your preference and needs, decide whether to use solar or low-voltage lighting by assessing their drawbacks and benefits.

  1. Hire a professional deck builder

While you can DIY your deck installation, hiring a professional builder would be more helpful. They have the skills and experience to ensure stunning, accurate, and effectively constructed end products. Expert deck contractors have protection and guarantee options. They also help you get deck building permits and source top-quality materials for sturdy structures. When looking for a deck builder, look at their portfolio to determine their expertise.


Backyard decks are an excellent way to extend your living space, boost curb appeal, and increase your property’s worth. Consider implementing these tips when building a modern deck in your home.