There's an increasing trend towards inside/outside living spaces, and installing a deck is an ideal way to add an outdoor living room
to your home. Here are some simple tweaks that can help you create a deck for all seasons, somewhere you'll want to entertain your friends and family all year round.
These clever bits of kit do double duty, offering cooling shade in the summer and protection against the elements in the autumn and winter. If your budget stretches that far, an automated awning is a good investment as it can be controlled at the touch of a button. A sail or a pergola can also look fabulous and they are easy to remove in severe weather.
Light it up
is another easy way to add all year round functionality to your timber decking
, especially when the winter nights draw in. Anything from a few strings of solar powered fairy lights to LED spotlights embedded in your deck will add interest and keep your energy bills low, tempting you out onto the deck after dark.
Bring the heat
Whether you use a gas or electric patio heater which is quick and easy to set up, or prefer to add a chiminea or fire pit that can burn sustainable logs, heating your deck is the easiest way to create a real outdoor living space. You'll need to ensure that any fire pit type heating is raised above the level of the deck to avoid creating a fire hazard, and a heat proof mat is a must-have to prevent composite decking
or timber decking from overheating.
Take a dip
The idea of a hot tub on the deck is the ultimate in luxury for many of us, and the opportunity to take a dip in warm water on a freezing night watching the stars is irresistible. Obviously, a hot tub recessed into your deck can be a budget buster, and not always suitable when there are young children around. However, affordable inflatable hot tubs mean that the dream can now be a reality. Just be careful where you position your tub so you don't have to run for the door!
A charcoal or gas barbecue is another obvious addition to your timber decking, but why not go one step further and create an outdoor kitchen complete with a pizza oven? Your deck will be the place to party all year round.