Outdoor decks can be simple or extravagant. From the shape of your deck to the type of material used, your deck can greatly enhance or detract from the architectural character of your home. One of the most overlooked methods for giving a deck a high-impact look is to change the layout of the decking from the standard horizontal pattern, which is merely successive rows of decking running parallel to the house.
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Running your decking on a diagonal, also known as "45" is an easy custom decking pattern, because it doesn't require any additional blocking. Closer spacing of the joists below are the only structural modification needed. The deck boards run at a 45-degree angle from the house for the entire span of the deck.
Similar to the 45 layout, the V-pattern runs diagonally relative to the house. The boards, however, don't run the width of the deck. Instead, the pattern stops at the deck's midway point and the angle is switched, providing a "V" appearance. The point where the boards meet can have an optional spine board divider (a single deck board running perpendicular to the house) for a cleaner look.
The chevron pattern is the same as the V-pattern except that it's not split down the middle of the deck. Instead, the "V" is repeated multiple times giving you a zigzag appearance.
Tiling gives your deck a checkerboard look. Deck boards run in alternating parallel and perpendicular square blocks (typically 3 to 4 feet square). This is a highly intricate pattern that requires a great deal of structural blocking to the framework of the deck. For the most skilled carpenters, run the tiling pattern diagonally relative to the home for a memorable pattern.
Borders run the perimeter of the deck, outlining its shape. The average deck (200 to 300 square feet) will typically have borders that are two deck boards wide, although very large decks should use three boards and very small decks should use one. Borders add a picture-frame look to the deck and can be used with any pattern to further enhance the look.
Use simple pattern changes to designate different areas of your deck. For example, a standard parallel pattern on the entire deck, with an 8-foot by 8-foot border around the place you will have a table and chairs provides a dining area. Use the 45 method inside the border to further accentuate the section.
With the advent of composite decking, deck layout patterns have entered a new class of design. Mixing and matching colours and profiles take the layout pattern to the next level. Additionally, speciality equipment allows composites to be heated and bent into curves and arcs making your design possibilities are near limitless.
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