What to Consider When Building a Deck

High-Performance Deck Planning

The end result: your own private oasis, mere feet from the fridge. The process? Nearly as easy, provided you envision your plans for using this newfound entertaining/relaxing/al-fresco-everything living space. You’ll want to be able to tell your top rails from your balusters for sure, but it’s also time to consider some bigger questions, like how much space do you need to pull out the dining chairs? Does your town require architectural plans before permits? And what about a hot tub?

Design Considerations

It’s easier to change your mind on paper than after discovering your new patio furniture is bigger than your new deck. So we’ve assembled a few ideas to keep in mind as you consider your outdoor space, from how you’ll use it to how you’ll get in and out of it.

How will you use it?


Consider keeping it close to your kitchen to minimise long trips back and forth. Also allow plenty of room around your patio table for the chairs to pull out comfortably, and think about a bump-out space for the grill – with plenty of clearance from the house.


Consider keeping it close to your kitchen to minimise long trips back and forth. Also allow plenty of room around your patio table for the chairs to pull out comfortably, and think about a bump-out space for the grill - with plenty of clearance from the house.


Trex® plays well with water, so it’s a great choice for a pool deck – plus our railings can handle the whole family’s wet towels. Just be sure to leave room for a few chaises and a clear path for cannon ball jumps into the pool. If you prefer hot tubs, they can be heavy, so it's important that your deck's foundation and framing are built to handle the load. And any yard with a pool requires a fence; Trex makes it easy to offer safety with style... that even the neighbours to enjoy. Be sure to check local height requirements for fencing around pools.


Consider a multi-level deck to create zones for dining, lounging, or even a private space under a pergola. Using more than one decking colour also helps identify one area from another, while different railing colours and styles bring high design to safety. And make sure to plan some uninterrupted room for everything from pickup soccer to a moonlit conga line.


Trex low-maintenance products lend a peaceful, easy feeling to any outdoor oasis. But for decks designed exclusively with unwinding in mind, be sure to leave room for plenty of fully reclined lounge chairs a shade-enhancing Trex® Pergola™ and refreshment-friendly side tables. And to get even more from your space, consider adding a cocktail rail to the top of your deck’s perimeter or splinter-free benches built right in.

The Size of Your Space


Check local building codes about setback requirements for your property; you can always consider a multi-level deck that makes use of vertical space, using the lower level for storage or a stone patio.


With plenty of room for all the bells and whistles, Trex fits the bill: everything from pergolas to cantilevers to elaborate railing designs is easy with our strong and sturdy outdoor products.


Our ability to create curved decking and railing lets you work around any obstruction and easily maximise an irregular space. Seemingly useless areas can transform into the perfect nook, bench or privacy wall.

Sun and Shade

Let There Be Light

Some spaces welcome the sun–beach and poolside locations come to mind–exactly where decking with our fade & stain warranty comes in handy. So you’ll never suffer a summer’s worth of fade marks where the table and doormat used to be.

Throw Me Some Shade

Trex can easily work around existing trees or Timbered lots to maximise your yard’s natural shade. Alternately, installing a gazebo or pergola can shoo away the sun over seating areas or dining tables while adding drama to your landscape.

Entrances & Exits

How to get from the house to the yard–with lots of beautiful stops in between.

Stand Alone

Building a low-lying deck amid landscaping at the end of your yard, for example, creates a new area of interest, while building a deck over difficult terrain can turn a mud pit into your yard’s winningest feature.

Multiple Access Points

Multi-level and wraparound deck configurations accommodate lots of friends, invite intrigue, and can create beautiful upstairs / downstairs entry points to both the house and the yard, often making stairs and railing the focal point of your space. Trex® Deck Lighting™ installed along railing and into stair risers keeps night walks safe and amps the drama.

Single Access Point

When your property allows only one exit point off the house, consider a doorway off the kitchen for an easy path from the fridge. And only one staircase? Build on a corner or consider a narrow-to-wide design and line with potted plants.

Places to Lean, Sit or Maintain Privacy


Railing–the only thing your neighbours really see–is easy to design and build almost any way you wish with Trex, and provides the perfect perch from which to survey all the action. With our mix-and-match modular system, Trex railing can do anything, from starring as the finale of your deck’s design vision to enhancing the view beyond it. And for safety’s sake, be sure to check local building codes regarding decks a certain height off the ground or requiring styles taller or shorter than standard issue.


As an option to complement patio furniture, Trex high-performance composite boards and matching fascia are the perfect splinter-free bench-building materials. Curved along railings, angled around a bay window or even wrapped around a favourite tree, a Trex bench creates long-lasting, seamless seating.


Especially when the goal is privacy, a Trex fence makes for generous neighbours indeed, with a good-looking, non-peeling finish on both sides–one you’ll never have to refinish.

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