Azek Decknology Blog

How to Choose a Deck Style For Your Home

Tips for Designing the Perfect Deck

Home renovations come with a lot of painstaking thought and planning, not to mention, hard work. Designing a deck is often among the most complex home improvement projects, not only because it is a major focal point, but it will have a significant impact on your home’s overall value.

Because of this, choosing a deck style should take up the bulk of your prep time. You obviously don’t want to wait until the deck is built to discover it doesn’t look right with or meet your family’s needs. Here are some tips to help you choose the right deck style for you.

Examine Your Yard and Ground Conditions

Before choosing the right design, closely examine your yard and ground conditions to identify potential challenges.  This process will not only highlight obstacles but also help you discover new opportunities.

Consider these three issues when examining your space:

  • Water Runoff: If you are planning on building your deck in a part of the yard where water collects after a heavy rain, or near another source, like a downspout, consider the consequences.  Even if you have a composite deck, which resists mold mildew and moisture damage, you’ll still want to manage storm water before you build.
  • Trees: If you have trees in the area where you want to build your deck, consider the roots and how they will grow and expand over time. Instead of removing the tree, try incorporating it as a unique design element. If you do this, make sure you leave three inches of space around the trunk so it can get air and water and have room to grow.
  • Sloped Ground: A sloped or uneven yard could pose problems for a deck building project, but we say turn it into advantage!  If space allows, consider a multi-tiered deck for an added architectural feature. Various levels allow you to designate different uses in each area.  Another option is to build a raised deck with steps. This type of deck will provide a level surface despite the inconsistencies of the ground below it.

Know Your Intentions for Your Deck

If you’re in the market to build a deck, chances are you already have an idea of how you intend to use it.  Still, it’s a good exercise to thoughtfully consider use to ensure your deck fits into your lifestyle.


  • Outdoor Dining: If you intend on cooking-out, design a dedicated a place for your grill.  Place it away from the primary seating area so it will be safer for any children in the area, and this will avoid having guests getting overwhelmed by the smoke and heat.
  • Seating: Chances are, your new deck will certainly be the center of attention. Consider your entertainment needs when designing your style, especially if you have large family. You will want to ensure your space has adequate seating and enough room for everyone to enjoy the party!
  • Sun Exposure: Do you want your deck to serve as a personal suntan machine? Pay attention to when and where the sun hits your yard so you can build your deck in the best possible location. If you prefer to not be pelted by the sun’s rays, you may want to build in extra budget for an awning or space for a large umbrella.

Attached or Freestanding?


Your deck can either be attached to the home or it can be freestanding. Your decision should be based on your intentions. For example, if you want the deck to serve as an extension of the home, where the transition outside to the deck is immediate, then obviously you’ll want to build an attached deck. This type of deck is the most popular and ideal for entertaining, cooking out, and hosting parties.

A freestanding deck can be installed anywhere in the yard and make your space really stand out. This type of deck may be more suitable for low-rise applications, such as sun decks or nighttime observation platforms.  If you live near the water, a freestanding deck can also act as a great landing space along the shore.


Decking Material


The type of decking material you choose for your project will impact how much it will cost to install and how much it will cost to maintain. For instance, a deck made from AZEK Deck capped polymer can be more affordable in the long run because, unlike pressure treated wood, it eliminates the need for constant sanding, sealing or staining. 


Safety Features


For attached decks, especially those with above-grade first floors, safety and code compliance play a huge role in your design. AZEK® Building Products has a line of railings and fasteners that will provide a beautiful, safe experience and easy access to the yard. Plus, our decking makes great stairs too! If you are not building your own deck, it is best to ask your contractor what type of fastening they are using for your project.


Deck Lighting


Deck lighting also adds to the safety of the deck, an extends its use into the evening hours. Deck lighting also adds personality to your design, and with AZEK there are plenty of options.  From accent and  in-deck lights, to post cap lights, riser lights, and under rail lighting.

AZEK a complete line of deck product solutions capable of helping you design your ideal deck. To learn more about our products, visit