Whether you go for a hammock snooze or a family picnic, nothing compares with relaxing on your deck. Wood decking demands constant upkeep—scrubbing, bleaching and staining. Composite polymer decking, on the other hand, lasts longer, stays cooler to the touch and retains its color, all while capturing the warmth of wood. Better still, composite decking helps the environment, keeping about 30 pounds of plastic (usually milk jugs and shopping bags) out of landfills for every 20 feet of decking.
Dark stained concrete flooring used indoors continues out to the home's deck. A steel and glass railing encloses the space, and an outdoor sofa and pair of armchairs provide comfy seating to take in the lakefront views.
If deck structure is solid and built properly, you may only need to replace the rails and deck boards. "However, a lot of code changes in the last 10 years make it a good idea to consider rebuilding the entire deck in most cases," says Jeremy Wrenn, President of Wrenn Home Improvements in Wake Forest, N.C. Big concerns include the proper installation of hangers, fasteners and especially bolts going through the deck band and into the house band. "Decks have collapsed from deck bolts not being installed or installed improperly," he says.
Sure, a stained wood deck is nice, but treat it to a coat of black paint and the look becomes significantly more elegant. “Black is versatile and dramatic,” says designer Stephanie Wilson. “Here, the black decking and rail acts as a strong base for the white walls and window trim; the black French doors tie the decking and the walls together and adds a lovely element of symmetry.”
Right in the middle of South Beach, one of the most popular and chic Miami neighborhoods, this penthouse deck features a breathtaking view. Contemporary wicker furniture provides cozy seating, and a large white umbrella provides ample shade.