From hosting barbecues to serving as the ideal spot for all your tanning, patios and decks are the perfect space for all your outdoor fun. But before you drop everything and start hammering the nails in, there are a few things you should consider.

How will you use your deck?
Are you going to use it as an extension of the space you already have, or are you going to create a dining and entertaining area? The answers to these questions will help you plan the size you’ll need, how much time the project will take, if it fits your budget, and whether or not you should be building a deck or patio in the first place.

Where will you put it?
A truism of the real estate world is that location is everything. If you’re lucky enough to have all the space you need this tip won’t be as useful. But if space is an issue, the location of your deck can be decided by:

  • Microclimates
  • Sun and shade
  • Wind
  • Rain and snow
  • Proximity to the main house

What is your budget?
It would be easier to start with this question, but I believe that if you really want something you’ll make it work. So don’t be too limited by your budget, there are always alternatives, such as a DIY project, or even building sections until you have the complete deck. Either way, remain open to the possibilities, and keep planning!