Ten years ago, cedar decking was fairly predictable. It was generally applied in rectangular shapes on a home’s ground level. What a difference a decade makes! Today, consumers have a plethora of choices when it comes to building a cedar deck. Portland homeowners, for instance, can choose to have decks installed on upper levels, under detached pergolas and in various non-quadrilateral shapes.
However, increased choices also bring increased confusion – with so many options, which is the best one for your home? The number of decisions to make when buying cedar decking can be overwhelming, especially in areas located near bountiful stands of cedar, such as Portland.
Decking materials don’t have to be a source for anxiety, fortunately. Understanding your cedar decking needs begins with learning about the basic types of cedar decks, as explained below. While daydreaming about the ideal cedar deck, Portland homeowners should consider the pros and cons of each of these deck types.
Ground-Level Cedar Decking
Pros: If your yard is level and spacious, a ground-level cedar deck may work well. These structures are fairly easy to construct, making them an appealing way for DIY types to use Portland decking materials to enhance the value of a home. For many single-story homes in Portland, decking materials can supplement the home’s usable space; ground-level decks are perfect for such a purpose. They also make wonderful accents for entryways; some homeowners even use their ground-level cedar decking as an exterior mudroom.
Cons: Ground-level decks are not the most efficient way to use exterior space; a multi-level deck, for instance, can better make use of space for multi-level homes. If you don’t have a lot of free space in your yard, a ground-level deck may not be right for you.
Raised-Level Cedar Decking
Pros: Raised-level cedar decking is a wonderful choice for those with significantly sloped yards. Raised-level cedar decking is attached to the side of the home and supported by posts. Many homeowners have lovely forested backyards, especially in Portland. Decking materials can create an enchanting tree-house feel for such homes.
Cons: Because they are elevated, raised-level cedar decks may pose safety concerns, especially for those with children. To create a safe place for your family to relax, add deck rails to your raised cedar decking. Additionally, special care must be taken to engineer elevated cedar decking that won’t crumble with the next big storm or earthquake. To avoid having your elevated deck collapse down the road, hire an experienced, reliable decking company for installation, and have your cedar decking inspected regularly for safety.
Multi-Level Cedar Decking
Pros: Multi-level decks are brilliant solutions for homes with multiple stories and terraced or sloping yards. For instance, you might have one deck outside your second-story bedroom window, leading via stairs to a landing with a quaint outdoor dining set, from which another set of stairs leads to a ground-level cedar deck. Portland residents will also appreciate how multiple levels of decking offer many unique vantage points. Multi-level cedar decks are excellent for those who love to entertain, since they create natural pockets for conversation and people watching.
Cons: As with raised decking, a major concern of multi-level cedar decking is the complexity of the construction involved. Furthermore, simply because they usually require more decking materials to build, multi-level decks are often more expensive than other types of cedar decking.
Wraparound Cedar Decking
Pros: Wraparound cedar decking surrounds several sides of a home’s exterior with decks. Especially in places where weather can shift quickly (like Portland), decking materials that are placed on several different sides of a home will be more usable. For instance, if the sun is too hot on the southwest side of your home, you can simply pick up your paperback and your lemonade and move to the north side. Additionally, wraparound decks are versatile in that they create unique spaces where different families members can relax, entertain or read.
Cons: The more cedar decking a home has, the more time must be spent maintaining that decking. If you don’t savor the idea of regularly cleaning and treating your cedar decking, a wraparound deck may not be the best option for you; instead, choose a compact deck design that won’t take much time to clean and stain.
Detached Cedar Decking
Pros: Detached cedar decking is not attached to a home; instead, it may complement a pergola, pond or garden area. A major benefit of detached cedar decking is that it offers a clear zone for retreat and renewal.
Cons: Because detached decks are not right outside your home’s door, they may not be used as often.
By considering the above options for a cedar deck, Portland residents can find the right cedar decking design to fit their needs.