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Considerations for a Condominium Deck

DeckOne of the best features of a condominium is the deck. It gives your living space a feeling of openness and allows you to easily get some fresh air, even if you live on the 30th floor.

If you live in an urban setting, however, there are a few major drawbacks, such as limited size, lack of privacy, and a bland décor. Decks are by far the least private part of the condo, they are difficult to expand on, and it can be hard to make them look unique.

Fortunately, overcoming these challenges is not impossible. The following are a few simple solutions for expanding, protecting and livening up your condo deck design.

Expanding a Condo Deck

Expanding a condo deck is tricky business. There are many considerations to keep in mind, including building permits, condo association rules, the structural integrity of your deck, appropriate decking materials and much more.

Many people don’t want the hassle of expanding their condo deck, but if you’re the go-big-or-go-home type, the most important thing to remember is communication. You will need to communicate with:

  • The condo association to determine whether expansion is allowed.
  • The city to determine if you will be violating any building codes
  • Your neighbors to ensure you’re not stepping on any toes with your new deck design.

Once you’ve cleared the expansion project via the appropriate channels, contact a professional decking company to flesh out the details.

Privacy Options

One of the main complaints among condo owners is that their decks are too exposed. Luckily, there are a number of deck design choices you can make to improve privacy.

Add a trellis. Adding a trellis on certain sides of the patio will create a shaded, partially-blocked effect. Plant a few climbing vines in front of the trellis and you’ll get even more privacy. Try a Black-eyed Susan vine for spring coverage and sweet peas in fall and winter. Be careful not to plant aggressive vines, such as English ivy and wisteria, as they can require a lot of maintenance.

Plant bamboo. If you want an all-natural privacy screen, place long planter boxes along the side of your cedar deck and plant bamboo. Check with a landscaper or nursery to discover the best type of bamboo to use.

Hang plants. Place hanging planters high up and populate them with busy, trailing plants. Non-aggressive ivy and fuchsias are great choices for this type of deck design.

Hang curtains. Thin, light curtains or screens aren’t just for indoor use. You can create an attractive privacy screen by installing curtains around your deck. The benefit of curtains is that you can open and close them easily, and you have a lot of choices when it comes to fabric color and pattern. Remember to take them down during bad weather, though.

Decorating a Condo Deck

Decorating a condo deck doesn’t have to be boring. Here are a few of the many ways you can add personality to your deck design:

Pots and planters. Having planter boxes and pots on your deck creates a relaxed, attractive atmosphere. Add some flair by using multi-colored pots and coordinating the color of the plants with the rest of your deck’s design scheme.

Color choices. Make your deck unique by using an attractive, well-coordinated color scheme. Sticking with two or three basic colors works well – try blue, red and yellow, for example.

Lighting. Unfortunately, many people overlook the use of different lighting fixtures when deciding on a condo deck design. There are many different ways to use lighting for decorative purposes, however. You can use small string lights around the rail to create a delicate, soft ambiance, or you can install a hanging lamp or lantern near the doorway to create a brighter deck light. Choose a fixture style that complements your decking materials. Make sure to check with your building manager to find out if there are any lighting restrictions, and don’t leave your lights on when you’re not using the deck.

Furnishings. Don’t be afraid of putting furnishings out on your cedar deck. A few lounge chairs, a coffee table or a loveseat are all appropriate, depending on the size of your deck and the weather.

For many, deck design is the final frontier in condominium personalization. It can be intimidating and overwhelming, but if you follow the aforementioned tips, the process can result in a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor living space.

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