Deck Designs and Plans

Updated February 21, 2017

Designing and building your own deck can be a very rewarding experience. There are many resources available to help you learn the ins and outs of deck design. Designing a deck also involves knowing the exact materials needed to finish the job. Free services will allow you to create a good-looking deck design, provide you with a complete materials list, and show you pictures of what the deck will look like when you are finished. Paid-for services will provide you with all of the same information, plus a few extras.

Deck Designers

Designing a deck is the first step in the deck planning process. There are many tools and services available to help you plan the deck of your dreams, or even a simple deck to be used for backyard barbecuing. Many home improvement stores offer deck planning services for free--all you have to provide are the desired dimensions of the finished deck, the height of the deck, and the materials you would like to build the deck out of (redwood, cedar, or composite materials, for example). They will help you plan the placement of the stairs, if any are needed. Then this information can be transferred to a point-of-sale system. The total cost of the materials will be added to a project quote for a specific building material type so you can comparison shop using that quote. Or you can simply purchase the deck package and the materials will be assembled and placed on will-call for you to pick up when you are ready for them.

Free Online Design Software

There are many deck design websites on the Internet. Some of them are free, like This website will help you design a rectangular or octagonal deck and handrail plans as well. Provide the plan calculator with the desired length and width of the deck, along with the desired decking material, and the website will generate plans, a materials list, and a cost breakdown for you. Then you can download and print the plans and the materials list as a PDF document. All you have to do is transfer the calculations to the Materials List that will print with the PDF document, or simply print the contents of the calculations screen. Take this list with you when buying the materials for your deck. The website also goes into great detail about how to assemble the deck when the design step is finished. There are many other websites that offer free deck design tools and can be found by searching on "free deck design software."

Paying for Deck Plans offers preplanned deck designs that can be purchased online. The types of deck plans offered include low-elevation deck plans, mid-elevation deck plans, and high-elevation deck plans. They even have porch and gazebo plans available. The deck designs range from simple rectangular patterns to ornate covered rectangular plans with octagonal jacuzzi platforms. The cost of each plan is £19.40. You can also purchase deck design software from home improvement centres (as a CD-ROM) or online (as a download).

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About the Author

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.