Expert Advice

How to Design A Deck

One of the most common questions we hear from homeowners is, “Where do I start?” We wanted to help answer this question and more. Using the Trex website, you can plan your entire decking project, from the design to actually building your deck. Let's get started. 

August 26, 2022

Step 1. Find Your Deck Inspiration

The first step is to figure out how you want to use your space, what it should look like, and what features you want to include in the design. In the Trex Ideas Section, you can explore different deck styles, get advice from design and building experts, and even read stories about real homeowners’ experiences to help define your vision for your outdoor space. 

Step 2. Price & Budget Your Deck Project

Once you have an idea of what you want your outdoor space to look like, it is time to start refining the details. The Trex Online Tools page has a collection of design and pricing tools to help you wherever you are in the process, including our deck calculator to help you determine the overall costs of your project. Consider all of your options carefully before you decide how much you want to invest in your home addition.

Think about the size you want, from a simple 6x10 porch or a beautiful 16x20 deck large enough to entertain friends and family. If you want a multi-story deck, that will have other considerations, including safety, possible building permits, and making sure it's up to code. The deck design and build process may take some time, but it's a lot of fun seeing your ideas come to fruition!

Step 3. Design Your Deck Project

As you design your deck, you'll see many options for a deck size and shape. The initial stages of your deck design and build should focus on what you want from your deck. Do you want to entertain friends and family? Will you use it year-round? Do you want to add a grill, table, and deck planters? What about stairs and railings?

Once you know the general look you like in your space, you can use the Trex® Deck Designer tool that can help you with this project by showing you 3D models, a list of materials to buy, and downloadable blueprints to help you build your dream deck.

Step 4. Choose your deck color

Next step in designing your deck? Choosing a color. Trex decks can come in many popular colors, depending on your preferences. You can match your current home exterior for a cohesive look or choose a contrasting color to make it stand out. Trex decking is available in an array of hues, from dark gray and brown to deep red and sandy tones. The Color Selector tool makes it easy to compare colors to find the hue that’s right for you.

Step 5. Order a Decking Sample

Next, we recommend ordering a sample of the decking color(s) you are interested in. A decking sample lets you see how the color pairs with your home, feel the durability, and notice how the color shifts with the lighting throughout the day. Holding a sample in your hand allows you to see what the decking would be like in your home before you make your final purchase.

Step 6. Learn How to Build Your Deck

Want to build your new deck yourself? Enter Trex® Academy™. With answers to your most common questions, pro tips, and how-to videos, Trex Academy is there to help you every step of the way. It even has a quiz to help you determine if you have the skills, tools, and time to tackle a DIY decking project.

Step 7. Find a Deck Builder

If building a deck isn't your thing, Trex has a tool for that too. With the Find a TrexPro tool, you can search for a certified deck builder near you who specializes in composite decking with just your ZIP code. Looking for a unique application or payment plan? The tool even allows you to search for builders with custom offerings such as curved decking and railing, deck building, and financing. Now that we've shown you how to design a deck, you can add the finishing touches with some furniture and decor.

Step 8. Add in Extra Touches & Deck Furniture

Now comes the fun part. Picking out all of the little extras to personalize the deck to your taste. Do you want to cover your deck? Consider a pergola or awning. You'll need deck furniture if you plan to lounge around and entertain friends, family, and loved ones. Outdoor throw pillows and planters can beautify your space. 

At Trex, we want you to enjoy your deck for decades to come. It all starts with a great deck plan, which is a lot easier using the online tools available to you. Materials like Trex® composite decking offer a low-maintenance material that helps you keep your deck in great shape for many years.

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