Fresh air, great views and capitalizing on unused space — it’s no wonder rooftop decks are a hot trend for suburban homes and urban apartment complexes alike.
Once reserved for the urban elite, rooftop decks are popping up all over the country as an attractive option that offers a mixture of space savings and an unrivaled view. The magic of rooftop decks is they take advantage of what was formerly unused space — the top of a building or the flat roof over part of a home — and reclaims it for a unique entertaining area or a family gathering spot.
“Especially when we’re working in cities, rooftop decks are essentially reclaiming space for a family that probably wouldn’t have any outdoor space otherwise,” said James Muckinhaupt, a senior builder/project manager for Mosaic Outdoor Living, a high-end custom deck builder in Colorado.
All that new-found space can present a challenge to designers and the homeowners they serve as they try to define the space to make the most of the rooftop deck’s open layout.
“If designers don’t really delineate the space well, we’ve found the decks end up being a giant space that’s never fully utilized by the homeowner,” James said.
James and his wife, Mary, a custom furniture consultant, offer some advice on how to turn your rooftop deck into a personal oasis and get the most out of the space.
1. Define the use
Mary said defining how the deck will be used the majority of the time is the top way to make sure the space fits the homeowners’ needs. Questions like, “Will the deck host weekly family dinner?” and “Will you use it daily for drinks and lounging?” help determine whether or not a kitchen/dining area is needed and how much seating should be included.
“It’s also important to know the average number of people they expect to fit on the deck,” Mary said. “If we don’t furnish and set the deck up so it’s conducive to their needs, we’ve found that people don’t use the deck.”
2. Stay true to your style
Most people have a style or color scheme they are already drawn to. A good designer will pay attention to the rest of a homeowner’s space and incorporate that theme into the rooftop deck to create a cohesive style from interior to exterior.
3. Focus on materials
Materials have a huge impact on the final look of the deck, whether it’s sleek tile, decorative concrete or luxury composite lumber. James said his rooftop decks are primarily Envision® composite lumber by TAMKO, because of the wide variety of styles the boards can accommodate, taking on everything from the look of exotic hardwoods to distressed reclaimed barn wood.
4. Add a covering
Regardless of how the deck will be used, it’s nice to have a covered area to escape the heat of the sun or the rain. Depending on the homeowners’ needs and budget, the covering can be anything from a grouping of large umbrellas to a covered structure with glass walls.
5. Include a fire element
If adding a covering helps extend deck season through the extreme heat of summer and the rain of spring, including a fire element extends the deck’s use through the fall and winter. This could be something as simple as a fire pit or as elaborate as a built-in fireplace.
“Between a shade covering and a fireplace, you’re extending deck season to 70-80 percent of the year, depending on where you live,” James said.
6. Work with the views
In the process of deciding where to add a covering and how to position furniture on a rooftop deck, consider the natural views. One area of the deck may offer superior views, either of nature or of a cityscape. Position furniture to open up to the best view and construct deck coverings and any needed walls, to obstruct any undesirable views.
“The view is one of the best things about a rooftop deck, so we want to focus the seating around whatever is the best view,” Mary said. “If there are great views on multiple sides, we’ll recommend using swivel chairs to give people the best of both.”
How to Make Your Envision® Deck the Ultimate Summer Entertainment Space
There are few memories as precious as summertime spent with family and friends. Hot dogs on the grill, tossing a baseball in the backyard, ice cream and popsicles on a sunny day— this is what summer is all about! A beautiful outdoor living space built with Envision® composite decking is a perfect setting for summer memories. In today’s blog, we explore ideas and inspiration for outdoor entertaining with family and friends.
Furnishing an Envision® Deck for Entertaining
When entertaining with friends and family, comfortable seating is a must. Be sure to choose sturdy, weather-resistant furniture for many seasons of comfort and enjoyment. A large outdoor table is a great addition as well, for pleasant weekend barbeque gatherings.
Weather-resistant pillows are a nice complement as well, adding color and comfort to seating areas. When choosing outdoor furniture, don’t forget to coordinate style and color with the aesthetic of your Envision® decking.
Consider lighting features for your outdoor spaces, so that visits with friends and family can extend into evening hours. Dimmable lighting is ideal, so that the light can be adjusted to fit the mood. A variety of colors that will complement the style of your furniture and decking materials are available for outdoor lighting.
Entertain in Style with an Outdoor Kitchen
Summer gatherings with friends and family are seldom complete without a delicious meal. Whether grilling hotdogs and burgers on gameday, hosting a family reunion event, or just enjoying ice cream on a sunny day, the amenities of a home kitchen are a wonderful addition to outdoor entertaining spaces.
A good grill is a great start, but also consider adding a refrigerator, sink and prep station for a fully functional outdoor kitchen area. The aesthetic of stainless steel grills and appliances is perfectly complemented by the beautiful decking options from the Envision Distinction® Collection.
Envision® Quick Tip: It is recommended that homeowners place a grill mat under their grill to prevent oil and grease damage to decking products.
Other Features to Consider
A fire feature is a lovely option for cool summer evenings. The warm orange glow of firelight is a wonderful accompaniment to the beauty of Envision® decking products, like the rich and earthy highlights of Shaded Auburn boards from the Envision Distinction® Collection.
Shade sails are a perfect choice to help keep cool on warm summer days. They are practical, but they are also quite stylish. Shade sails come in many colors and sizes, so coordinate your choice with the existing aesthetic of your deck design.
If your family and friends enjoy going to the movies, consider bringing the movie theater home with an outdoor movie projector. LED projectors were once very expensive, but recent advances have substantially reduced their cost and increased their quality.
Envision® Distinctive Style for Your Deck Design
Beautiful composite decking from Envision® delivers excellent comfort and appeal for an exceptional outdoor living space that family and friends will love. Entertain in style all summer long with Envision®.
Contractors and builders can learn more about everything Envision® has to offer by becoming a Registered Pro with Envision®.
Should I Call a Professional for Composite Decking Repair?
Damage to your outdoor living space is frustrating, and you may be uncertain how to address it. Should you repair it yourself, or should you call in the professionals? Whether the damage is the result of a fallen tree, a weather event, or simply rust damage from an old deck chair, knowing exactly how to proceed with repairs can be difficult. Envision® is here to help, with useful advice about deck repair and when to call in the pros.
Minor or Major Damage? Is it a Safety Issue?
When you notice damage to your deck, take the time to carefully assess the extent of it. If the damage represents any possible safety hazard, take proper precautions to warn family and friends to avoid the area. Any time damage represents a safety hazard, leave the repairs to the pros.
For minor damage such as accidental stains or rust damage, you may be able to take care of the problem with relative ease. Refer to the Envision® Care and Cleaning resources for detailed recommendations.
Envision® Quick Tip: save several extra pieces of decking material during installation, so that you will have matching materials handy in the event of damage to your deck that requires replacement boards.
Is Doing the Repair Yourself Worth Your Time?
Time at home with family and friends is valuable, so when a homeowner has substantial damage to their deck, it is often best to let the pros handle the repairs. An Envision® Registered Contractor will have the tools and know-how to make extensive repairs, if necessary.
While they are on-site, repair pros can also carefully examine the deck for hidden damage and structural issues. It may be possible to prevent expensive repairs down the road, so bringing in a professional to examine the damage is often the best course of action.
Choose Envision® Composite Decking
Damaged composite decking can get in the way of plans with family and friends. For minor damage, it may be possible for homeowners to get the job done. For major damage, and certainly for damage that presents a safety hazard, it is recommended that professional contractors be called in to make complete and thorough repairs. Envision® is here for homeowners and contractors, with helpful advice, professional resources, and excellent products.
Questions Clients May Have About Composite Decking
Clients often have plenty of questions for their contractors. If you build their deck using composite decking from Envision®, they will probably have questions about that too. You want to be prepared to answer any and all questions they might have. Today in the Envision® Decking blog, we’ll go over some of the most commonly asked questions about composite decking.
What is Composite Decking Made With?
Clients will feel good knowing that Envision® composite decking is made of recycled wood fibers and recycled plastic material. Envision® composite decking is compression molded in a unique process that produces distinctive woodgrain patterns and beautiful, multi-hued coloration. Envision® delivers comfort and style that clients can feel good about.
Is Cleaning and Maintenance More Complicated than Wood Decking?
Taking care of traditional wood decking can be a very difficult and frustrating process. Wooden decking is subject to staining and splintering, and every several years, wood decking may require sanding and painting. Clients will be happy to learn that composite decking products from Envision® deliver reduced cleaning and maintenance requirements, so homeowners can spend more time relaxing and enjoying their outdoor spaces with family and friends.
For more information, review detailed recommendations for Care and Cleaning from Envision®.
Will the Decking Material Look Like Plastic?
In the past, composite decking materials had a uniform appearance that looked like plastic, with one color and little to no woodgrain texture. Some lower quality competitors still produce composite materials that have this appearance, but Envision® Composite Decking is different.
Envision® composite decking utilizes advanced manufacturing techniques to produce beautiful, multi-hued wood tones and intricate woodgrain patterns with textured depth and random, non-repeating patterns. The natural appearance of Envision® products makes an enormous difference, for beautiful and elegant results clients will love.
Will My Color and Style Options be Limited?
Envision® composite decking products feature a full spectrum of multi-hued styles, in a range of colors and textures to complement any aesthetic preference. Additionally, Envision® Marquee railing and skirting products feature a variety of colors, allowing beautiful contrasting and complementary color schemes that are sure to impress.
For numerous examples of the wide range of color and style options available, browse the Envision® Idea Gallery.
Designing Decks with Envision®
Experienced contractors know the products they use on the job, right down to the last detail. Sharing that knowledge with homeowners is very important, so clients have all the facts they need to make the best decision for their home. Envision® is here to help, with informative articles, professional resources, and excellent products.
To learn more about everything Envision® has to offer for contractors, become a Registered Pro with Envision®.
Designing a Deck: Coordinating Your Colors and Styles
When designing a deck, one of the most important considerations to make is the selection of style and color palette. Planning to coordinate the aesthetic of new deck construction with existing interior and exterior design elements in the home takes some planning, but the finished product will make a lasting impression on clients. Inspire your clients with professional resources, helpful advice, and excellent products from Envision®.
Complementing and Contrasting
When selecting color and style for a new deck design, client preferences should always guide the process. Offer clients several options to choose from, so they feel at home in their personalized design. This is easy with Envision®, because Envision® Composite Decking is available in a full spectrum of multi-hued colors that offer endless stylish options.
It may seem surprising, but contrasting colors can actually complement one another when designing a deck. Contrasting color palettes give distinction to the design, creating dimensional depth that draws in the observer. Consider a sandy brown deck color with warm highlights, such as Spiced Teak from the Envision Distinction® Collection, paired with decorative railing in an eggshell color, such as the Envision Marquee® Railing in white.
For a striking contrast that complements a distinctive element of the deck design, consider using different styles of Envision® Composite Decking to highlight the feature. For example, consider a multi-level deck design that features a jacuzzi tub. While the majority of the deck is a rich, earthy Rustic Walnut, the jacuzzi should be located on an elevated section of the deck in smokey Grey Wood from the Envision Distinction® Collection.
Endless Inspiration from Envision® Composite Decking
Envision® Decking brings the beauty and style of indoor design into outdoor living spaces. With a full spectrum of colors to choose from, coordinating the color palette of a new deck design with the existing color palettes of the interior design and exterior style of the home is easy. Coordinated indoor and outdoor designs with unified hues and textures will naturally draw clients and their guests from indoor areas to outdoor entertaining spaces.
Coordinating color palettes with the natural surroundings is an excellent way to unify the aesthetic of the client’s entire property. Consider decking material that brings out the natural colors of nearby trees, flowering foliage and stone features. The lovely orange and red hues of a nearby Japanese Maple Tree are perfectly accentuated with the subtle warmth Shaded Auburn from the Envision Distinction® Collection.
There are endless options when designing a deck with the excellent products from Envision®. Always explore the wide variety of choices available with your clients, so that they can enjoy the inspiration and personalization available with Envision®.
Designing a Deck with Envision®
When designing a deck with the excellent range of options from Envision®, developing a design that will excite clients is simple. With a wide variety of colors and textures to choose from, as well as decking accessories such as railing and skirting, you can easily coordinate design aesthetic with existing home design and natural outdoor elements.
Envision® offers helpful advice, professional resources, and excellent materials to help contractors get the job done. Learn more about becoming a Registered Pro with Envision®.