Custom deck features you may not have thought of

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Custom deck features you may not have thought of

It’s spring and here in Canada we’re starting to think about outdoor projects – and so are our clients, whether designer, contractor or supplier. While we can’t bring down the prices of materials or make them more readily available (oh, how painful it is), we can share one of my successful deck projects with you to show you how you might be able to offer additional value to your clients with some creative thinking.

Basically, here are five deck project features that may help your creative juices:

  1. Garbage can niche: We designed this as a great way to hide the unsightly, but obviously necessary, garbage and recycling bins our client had to store. We tucked them under the deck and gave them some doors to hide them away neat – in a way that blends into the deck design around it.
  2. Custom built-in bench: You know that niche for the garbage? Well, some of you may be thinking (probably our contractor friends out there!) that the deck doesn’t look tall enough to fit those. You are correct. So, we created a happy accident. We designed a custom builtin bench above this area to allow the “head room” for the garbage, while also providing a nice area for relaxing next to the grill.
  3. Under deck storage: We loved the design of the fence and railing and again used it to hide more storage – we wanted the deck to look just as good when our client was entertaining regardless of the storage it had. So, we designed some “hidden” doors on the yard side of the deck to allow the client to store things like bicycles, outdoor equipment, and maybe some of their patio furniture in between seasons.
  4. Fencing integrated into privacy screen: The fence is obviously a beautiful feature of the backyard. This was indeed designed at the same time as the deck itself was, with the mind to use it to hide the fact that our clients desperately wanted privacy from their neighbours – and we were fans of the trellis currently used. We integrated the privacy into the fence and deck on both sides, so it fades into the background.
  5. Power for electronics: We always ask a lot of questions when we design, and one thing came up – they love to take their laptops outside to watch videos and work on the deck in warmer weather. We made sure to note some convenient locations for power to the contractor, so they can charge their electronics while they relax!




Melissa is the owner and registered interior designer at Sanura Design, where she offers turnkey design services homeowners and small businesses with “intelligent, quality design and a sense of humour”.


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