All Decked Out – It’s All About the Cape Cod LifestyleAdd to My Luxx Living
All decked out
It’s all about the Cape Cod lifestyle
Remember when decks were utilitarian? Now, they are increasingly expressions of individual lifestyles.
“Because more people are staying home, they want to enjoy their exterior and natural environment. So, adding a deck is one of those improvement areas that can add value in more ways than monetary,” said Christine Duren, director of Home Builders and Remodelers of Cape Cod,
Many builders and suppliers encourage customers to think first about the enjoyment of deck living on the Cape. It’s part of the bigger picture:
A key question is: What are your goals?
Is your deck primarily for entertaining all numbers of guests? It is for a family oasis? Is it to create a sense of additional space by connecting indoors and outdoors? Do you plan to cook on it?
The comfort of a deck depends on its size. Industry guidelines call for about four to five feet per person regularly using the deck, and accommodations for breathing space for company should be made
Its physical orientation also is very important. Consider wind patterns, exposure to the sun, visibility of sunsets and sunrises, hours of shade.
Also invest the time in a privacy analysis. Is there foot traffic on your street? Where are the neighbor’s sight lines? Is there a bathroom window facing the deck? Is a neighbor’s bathroom visible?
Experienced builders and remodelers are well acquainted with these pitfalls and can find remedies and solutions for an optimum outdoor experience. Most builders have a list of questions they pose to clients such as: What’s your budget? Do you want real wood or a wood alternative? What type of maintenance are you looking for?Will stairs be needed? Where will they start and lead? How will the homeowner access their deck space? How high should the deck be?
These questions and many others create the springboard for choosing a style. Here are three deck styles to consider:
- Tiered – This style allows maximum creativity with various areas for eating, relaxing, swimming and playing.
- Elevated – This deck offers a great view, but may be less private if neighbors are close. Decks more than two feet off the ground should always have a railing.
- Ground Level – A ground level deck blends into the environment and makes yards appear larger. It’s also a great option for young children and older residents who want to avoid steps.
Sixteen years ago, Maureen Leveroni of Barnstable Village and her family oversaw an addition to their circa 1890 home. The Leveronis completed plans and a budget, meeting multiple times with their builder to ensure the new deck space would meet their entertainment needs.
“We got to know our builder fairly well; the back of our house was ripped off, so he joined us for coffee every morning,” said Leveroni. “I love my deck, still these many years later.”
“The relationships I build with my deck clients are what help me create their vision,” said Gary Souza at Rogers and Marney, Inc., in Osterville. “Once I know the needs, wants and desires of my homeowner, I’m able to uniquely craft an outdoor space that not only meets their needs, but communicates their personality and vibe.
“So many clients tell me that they enjoy their decks so much that they’ll pile up in blankets on cold days just because they want to be outside,” he said.
“Our decking clients rely on us to help them manage the many choices in style, design and materials,” said Mike Duffany, of M. Duffany Builders of Falmouth. “There are so many choices that sometimes homeowners are overwhelmed. Our goal is to pay attention to the details and know exactly what the client wants and this saves time and money on the front end,” said Duffany. Certain products are best for entertaining; others for sunbathing.
Rich Bryant of Cape Associates believes communication, is key. “With so many products in decking, lines, railing and lighting, we help guide the process,” he explained. “What goes on underneath the deck is academic, it’s what the client sees, feels and touches that means the most to them.
“You can’t tell from a brochure how a deck feels on the feet or how a hand or finger reacts to the materials that make up a rail or cap,” he said. “We invite our customers to experience the decking products before we get started.”
By guiding the process, builders keep the client informed about status, materials and budget so that the ideas and imagination can come through to the finished deck project.
“No two clients are the same and no two decks are the same so each experience is different and it’s this customization that we do best,” said Bryant.
“Today, entire homes are built around the outdoor view and not around the kitchen and living room as in the past,” said John Augusta from Falmouth Lumber.
“We are seeing clients come in with their Pinterest boards and Facebook feeds that depict both interior and exterior views from their decks,” he said.
Augusta noted a current project that incorporates a fire pit on a deck’s third floor, outdoor grills, televisions and heating systems that not only extend the deck season, but defy it.
“In fact,” Augusta said, “We watched the Super Bowl this year on our deck.”
A deck project need not be large for many lifestyle options to be incorporated, he noted.
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