If your house has a small, basic deck which came with the house, and especially if you like to spend time outdoors, you've probably considered ways to improve the deck whether adding on with an expansion or possibly building a new deck if you live in an older home. You may want more space, or you may want want a portion of the deck customized for a specific function. Regardless of the size of the deck, there are always options available to make it more suitable for your needs.

Adding Built in Furniture or Kitchen

One popular deck option is to add built-in furniture. Such a project can be as simple as replacing the top board of the railing to provide a usable shelf all around, or you can add seating as part of the railing. Another feature you can add is outdoor cabinetry for storage or a table. There are also permanent kitchen set-ups available in which a grill, stove and water faucet is available for grilling and cook outs. A third popular deck option is to add support for a hot tub where you can relax after a workout or relieve stress.

Building a Connecting Deck

Connecting decks can provide function and interesting contours to the outside of your home. A private upstairs deck with bedroom access can have steps connecting it to the main level deck, or a small deck on the side of the house can connect the back deck to the front porch. Layered decks and patios can provide designated functions by outlining a cooking area, a place for eating, and a space for entertaining guests.

Build a Roof and Screening

For people who enjoy the fresh outdoor air but prefer to be in the shade, adding a roof is the perfect solution. The roof also allows for lighting and ceiling fans to be installed so you'll never have to experience a dark rainy day while always maintaining a comfortable breeze. The area can also be screened in to keep out bugs, providing the best of both worlds by being outdoors with indoor comfort.

Enclose It with Glass as a Sun Room

A final option is to turn a deck into an enclosed sun room with glass walls. The windows can be opened during nice weather to make the area function as a screen porch, or closed during the winter so you can continue to enjoy the space and the views.

Like many home improvement projects, your deck is only limited by your imagination. Be sure to ask your contractor about past projects, he may have great ideas you never would have thought of.