Thinking of upgrading your outdoor living area?
According to reports, 90% of Americans say that their outdoor living areas are more valuable than ever. One of the reasons for this is the rise of indoor/outdoor living.
Instead of being content with a basic backyard, many Americans are reinventing their outdoor areas to be more functional and high-end.
Gone are the days when a blank backyard ruled supreme. Now, reports show that this is the least popular option. Only 28% of respondents chose this type of space, while the rest had their sights set on things like a luxury deck, patios, and outdoor rooms.
Installing a beautiful deck will not only upgrade your outdoor area, but it can also expand your living space and make it easier to entertain in style.
But, before you build a deck, you need to plan the project properly. If you skip this essential step, you’re likely to run into construction and design dilemmas, overrun your budget, and have your deck installation turn into a nightmare.
Avoid all of this and keep reading to find out how to plan your luxury deck like a pro.
Get Clear On Your Budget
If you want to build a deck, the first thing to get clear on is your budget. Decide roughly how much you’re willing to spend on your deck in total.
While you’re working out your budget, keep in mind that most homeowners tend to go over their pre-determined renovation/remodel budgets by between 10%-15%.
If you can factor this excess into your budget from the beginning, this can save you stress and complications down the line. For instance, if you’re utilizing a line of credit to finance your luxury deck, it’s much simpler to apply for the full sum in one go. Rather than having to take additional credit out toward the end of the project.
Another thing to keep in mind when planning a deck installation is that you might recoup a considerable portion of the cost if you sell your home.
For instance, estimates show that homeowners can enjoy an ROI of 60%-70% on a firepit feature alone. If you have the capital available, it might make financial sense to invest in these types of luxury features.
Not only will they raise the value of your property, but they’ll also add value to your lifestyle.
List Your Needs and Wants
Speaking of features, the next step is to list out all your needs and wants for the space.
Don’t limit yourself with budget concerns at this stage, simply note down everything you’d want in your dream space.
Think about how you’re going to be using the area and what your downtime looks like. For instance, do you love nothing better than inviting a few friends around to watch a ball game and relax?
If so, you might want to gear your luxury deck amenities to accommodate this. If you enjoy mixing up cocktails for your guests, you could also consider adding in an outdoor bar feature.
Or alternatively, maybe you love cooking and hosting. In this case, you might want to include a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen or barbeque area in your deck installation.
Or perhaps you don’t entertain much, but you love soaking up the sun with a good book on the weekends. If so, we’d focus on creating comfortable seating that can even accommodate an afternoon nap. For instance, you might want to plan in a sectional sofa, a chaise lounge, and swing seat, or a hammock installation.
If you enjoy sitting around an open fire, we’d definitely recommend a fire pit.
Also, don’t forget about things like hot tubs, pools, and water features. Elements like these can go a long way to making your deck feel luxurious and high-end.
Once you’ve made a list of all the features you’d like, sort them into non-negotiables and nice-to-haves. For instance, if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor entertaining on your new deck, outdoor kitchen and bar features may be a non-negotiable, while a hot tub might be a nice-to-have.
This will help guide your decisions once you start getting quotes and prices for the project. Instead of going over budget on things that aren’t ultra-important to you, you can make sure you prioritize the key features.
Consider the Seasons
You should also think about the seasons, the aspect of your house, and the general weather conditions. Do you want to position your deck to catch cooling breezes, or do you need it to be as sheltered as possible?
You’ll also want to decide whether to have a covered or open deck. Open decks give your more of an outdoor feel. But, they can be difficult to keep clean, and they’re also not great for entertaining in uncertain weather.
If you opt for an open deck without a roof, you will need to be prepared to wash down the area more frequently and store certain items during the winter. You will also need to invest in high-quality outdoor-grade furniture and fabrics that can withstand exposure to the elements and direct sun.
If you opt for a covered deck, keep in mind that this will block direct sunlight from any windows that face onto your new deck. If this is going to make the adjacent rooms too dark, you can choose clear roof sheets or a mixture of clear and opaque roofing.
Clear roof sheets let in more light, but they also make outdoor areas and four-season rooms hotter in summer.
Plan for the Perfect View
When planning out the placement of your luxury deck, don’t forget about the view. Ideally, you want to place your deck on the side of your home that has the best view.
But, if this isn’t possible or practical, you can also think of ways to improve the view from your new deck. For instance, if tall hedges or trees are blocking a stunning backdrop, you can look into having them pruned to open up the vista.
If you don’t have a perfect line of sight to your view, you can also consider a raised deck over something like a terrace deck.
Alternatively, if you have an unattractive view you want to hide, you can erect privacy fencing or trellises to block out any eyesores.
Don’t Leave Lighting to the Last Moment
One of the things a lot of people forget about when planning an outdoor space is lighting. If you want to enjoy your new deck in the evenings, lighting planning is key.
Outdoor light features not only give you light to see by, but they can also highlight attractive elements of your deck and set the mood. Ideally, you want to have a layered mix of ambient lighting, task lighting, and mood lighting.
Ambient lighting is the overall lighting that illuminates the space. Task lighting can include brighter fixtures over outdoor cooking and bar areas, step lights, etc.
For mood lighting, you can consider things like string lights, wall sconces, and uplights.
While you’re planning the lighting needs of your new deck, you might also want to think about the rest of your outdoor space. Do you have enough garden lighting?
If you’re going to get electrical work done, now might be the ideal time to install things like path lighting and landscape lighting. This will upgrade your entire outdoor area, and create a more dynamic backdrop at night.
For example, if you have a beautiful tree or a water feature, illuminating these with a spotlight will make them visible from your deck at night, and help to visually open up your yard after sunset.
Finally, while we’re on the topic of electrics, think about what other electrical needs you might have for your new deck. Do you want a few well-placed outlets from which you can charge your devices or a laptop?
Maximize Functionality Through Thoughtful Design
While you’re mapping out what features you want, take some time to think about any other needs or issues you might be having with your space. For instance, maybe you like to entertain outdoors, but you don’t necessarily want a full-feature outdoor kitchen.
Stats show that 62% of experts agree that outdoor dining areas are one of the most desired living spaces. However, not everyone necessarily wants to cook outdoors.
Even if you’re doing most of your preparation indoors, it could still be handy to include some storage solutions in your design plan to house items you use for outdoor entertaining. Maybe you have a designated set of plates, cutlery, and glassware that you usually have to carry outdoors whenever you entertain al fresco.
Stashing these in an attractive built-in set of cabinets can streamline your life and enhance the functionality of your deck design.
Or maybe you have a collection of outdoor activity items that are cluttering up your garage? Things like balls and bats can also be housed in storage solutions on your deck.
Create a Mood Board
Besides the functional elements, you should also take some time to get clear on the overall design aesthetic you want for your new deck.
Ideally, the design of your deck installation should tie into the existing design style of your home. For instance, if you have a Tuscan-style home, you definitely don’t want to tack an ultra-contemporary deck onto it, or vice versa.
Your deck design should also trigger the right feeling.
Do you want your deck to feel like a cozy, tropical sanctuary? A minimal space with a sleek design? Or a traditional space that invokes a sense of grandeur and luxury?
Along with the overall feel, you should also get clear on what color palette you’d like.
If you’re not sure exactly what you want, you can start by browsing through inspirational pictures in magazines or on Pinterest.
Save the images that inspire you the most. You can use these as a simple mood board that you can refer to or share with your chosen design experts.
Team Up With the Right Experts
Speaking of experts, we’d highly recommend that you hire a trustworthy team to help you bring your beautiful deck to life.
Unless you’re a seasoned DIY pro with hands-on construction experience, building a luxury deck by yourself is a very tall order.
The right team of professionals will ensure that:
- Your project goes smoothly
- You have the correct planning permission
- Your deck is structurally sound and adheres to the applicable building codes
- The design is in keeping with your home’s style
- Luxury features are properly installed and up to code
- Your deck will be long-lasting and easy to maintain
Instead of mixing and matching things like design services, architectural services, and contractors, we’d also recommend that you choose an integrated team.
If you don’t, you’ll end up having to be the project manager coordinating the different contractors and teams.
Bringing a remodel, home extension, or deck project to life is an involved process. If you have to manage multiple contractors, you’re bound to run into problems somewhere in the process.
Besides causing stress and coordination issues, being the go-between can also be very time-consuming. Instead of being able to sit back, enjoy the creative elements, and rest assured that you’re getting a well-planning deckyou might spend weeks (or months) fielding estimates and dealing with construction-related disruption in your home.
Here at Michael James Remodeling, we know how stressful home projects can become. This is why we offer a full-service experience. With us, you don’t have to worry about any of the nitty-gritty issues that most homeowners face with home projects.
Our design, architectural, and construction teams work seamlessly together to bring your projects to life.
Are You Ready to Press Go On Your Luxury Deck?
Adding a luxury deck to your home can maximize your living space and give you more room to entertain, relax, and enjoy your outdoor areas. It can also increase the value of your home.
If you want a team of pros to handle every area of your luxury deck installation, you’ve come to the right place.
We deliver a full suite of integrated services. Instead of running around after contractors, you can relax and enjoy the creative part while we handle the all legwork.
We also do everything possible to minimize disruption during remodeling and extension projects. Our teams protect your home from dust and dirt, and we do a full clean-up every day to ensure your home doesn’t look or feel like a construction site.
Drop us an email to get started discussing your dream luxury deck.
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No More Cold Feet
Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a radiant tile floor is that you won’t have any more cold feet when you get out of your shower. There are few things more unpleasant than stepping out of a nice warm shower onto a freezing tile floor. This can be especially bad in the wintertime, when cold feet can become agony.
Heated tile floors will keep your toes nice and toasty when you get out of the shower and during those early morning chills. Best of all, studies have shown that keeping your feet warm can play an important role in regulating your overall body temperature. A heated tile floor can make your overall bathroom experience more comfortable simply by warming up your toes.
Most people who don’t have heated tile floors cope with that chilly tile by putting down bath mats. This helps to keep water off the floor, which can eliminate slipping hazards, and it provides a barrier between your feet and the cold floor. The problem is that these bath mats can become a breeding ground for microbes.
Mold, mildew, and other microbes love environments that are warm and damp, and bath mats make the perfect environment for them. Depending on how often you wash your bath mat, you could be stepping out of your shower onto a thriving colony of germs. Because heated floors eliminate the need for bath mats, they could make your bathroom more hygienic.
If you struggle with allergies or asthma, forced air systems could cause you a lot of problems. These systems heat your house by blowing warm air into the room through vents in the floor or ceiling. The problem is that this blast of air can kick up dust and allergens, not to mention providing a system of ducts for all these allergens to collect in.
Radiant heating doesn’t blow dust or allergens around, and it can do much more than just warm up your feet. In fact, a radiant heat system can warm up your bathroom by as much as five degrees without any forced air assistance. Using these systems can reduce the amount you have to use your forced air system, keeping your allergies and asthma at a minimum.
More Uniform Heating
One of the other major downsides of a forced-air heating system is that they tend to heat rooms unevenly. We’ve all experienced times when we were sitting under a vent that was blasting hot or cold air on us. We were uncomfortable, but the people on the other side of the room might feel perfectly fine.
Radiant heating systems can help to eliminate these cold spots in your bathroom. The mesh or tubing is distributed evenly throughout the floor, meaning every area will get the same gentle warmth. As you move through your bathroom, you’ll stay at the same perfect level of comfort, rather than sweating in one spot and freezing in another.
Greater Energy Efficiency
Now at this point, you may be thinking that offsetting forced air systems with radiant heat is fine and good, but what will it cost? Although you will be able to use your forced air system less, you will have to pay for the extra electricity or gas to heat that system. The good news is that you could actually save money on your utility bills by using a radiant heat system.
Radiant heat systems tend to be more energy-efficient than forced-air systems thanks to their design. Heat rises, so radiant heat systems have to put off less heat to get the room to a comfortable temperature than forced air systems with ceiling vents do. They can also cycle on and off without involving a heat pump and compressor, saving you money and keeping you more comfortable.
No Wasted Space
One of the biggest struggles with adding extra heating systems to your bathroom design is figuring out where to put the components. If you have floor vents, you have to arrange your furniture so those aren’t blocked. And if you’re using space heaters, you wind up with unattractive units hanging on your walls or sitting on your floors, taking up space.
Radiant heat systems are completely invisible and don’t take up any extra space in your home. Because they live under the floors, they blend in seamlessly with your layout. You can get the extra comfort you need without having to work around an unwieldy heating system.
It is important to note that if you decide to use a hydronic radiant heat system, you will have to find someplace to put the water heater for that system.
No Extra Noise
When you walk into your bathroom, you want it to be a relaxing, spa-like experience. This should be someplace you can breathe and unwind, escaping from the noise and demands of the outside world. Unfortunately, that can be a little hard to pull off if you’re listening to the buzz and whoosh of a forced-air heating system.
Other heating systems can be annoyingly noisy, but radiant heating systems are completely silent. In particular, electric systems make no noise, heating your floors without a whisper of extra sound. You can relax in the oasis that is your bathroom without having to tune out extra noise.
If you’ve ever lived with another person, you know that we all have different preferences when it comes to comfortable temperatures. You may like things toasty warm, while your partner may swelter in those temperatures. Heated bathroom flooring can eliminate fights over the thermostat, since they’re completely customizable.
Your radiant heat system will come with a thermostat that you can set to whatever temperature range is comfortable for you. As we’ll discuss more in a moment, you can even set schedules so the system heats to a different temperature depending on when you and your partner each get ready. And don’t worry – these systems never get hot enough to burn even the most sensitive toes.
As with any heating system, radiant heating systems take time to warm up. So it may seem pointless to have one of these systems if you’re still going to have to walk on a freezing floor while you wait for it to warm up. But these system designers aren’t about to let you live with cold feet every morning.
Heated tile floor controls usually come with a scheduling feature that allows you to program when you want your system to kick on. If you have to get up at 7 in the morning and you know your system takes about fifteen minutes to heat up, you can set it to turn on at 6:45. Your floors will be heated to perfection by the time you’re ready to get out of bed in the morning.
One of the best things about installing a radiant heat system is that you’ll never have to do any maintenance on it. Because these systems live under tile floors, they aren’t exactly accessible. This means that designers create them to last for a lifetime without any ongoing maintenance needs.
Once again, hydronic heating systems can be a little different in this regard. The boiler that heats the water for your system may need attention from time to time, although this is rare. But for the most part, these systems are set it and forget it, providing ongoing comfort in your space for the duration of their life.
Improved Home Value
When you’re doing a bathroom remodel, one of the factors you need to think about is how it will impact the resale value of your home. You want to create something that you will enjoy, but also something that will get you more money when it comes time to sell your house. In general, bathrooms and kitchens tend to bring the most extra resale value to homes, especially when they’re luxurious.
Heated flooring says to a buyer that your home is built for luxury and comfort. When you list your home, adding that feature to your description could get you more viewings and even a higher sale price. These systems may well pay for themselves thanks to their extra energy efficiency and the value they bring to your home.
Discover the Joys of Heated Tile Floors
Heated tile floors are a fantastic way to make your bathroom more comfortable all year round. They can provide a more even heat and may even reduce the amount of allergens and microbes in your bathroom. They can also save you money on utility bills and improve your home value, paying for themselves in the long run.
If you’d like to discover the joys of heated tile floors for yourself, check out the rest of our site at Michael James Remodeling. We are here to bring your vision of your dream home to life in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, and more. Chat with us today and discover what to expect when you experience renovation the Michael James way.