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Decks for All Kinds of Spaces

Decks are a beautiful and profitable addition to a home. Are you prepared to do it yourself or do you think you'll hire a contractor? Either way, you'll need to do some research to determine location, size, design, pattern, and the type of wood or composite decking you favor. Railing and stairs? Built-in seating or planters? What will you use your deck for?
  1. Building a Deck (1)
  2. DIY Deck Maintenance (5)

Free Deck Plans and Designs
The free deck plans we've researched will hopefully serve as a springboard, helping you to define what you want and where to go from there.

What's the Difference Between a Patio and a Deck?
Patio or deck? How do you know which one is right for you, your lifestyle and your outdoor living space? And how can you really tell the difference between a deck and a patio anyway?

Deck Building Basics
Whether your deck is new or needs a repair or an upgrade, you know that it's something you can't build and just leave alone. Like a pool or spa, a deck requires time and energy to care for it. And when you do put in some effort, the reward is a beautiful addition to your home -- which may be the centerpiece of your backyard.

Deck Safety Checklist
If you have a real wood deck, it should be a source of pride. Follow this checklist and inspect it annually.

Wood and Composite Decking: Pros and Cons
Wood or composite decking -- or something else?

Great Deck Design Ideas and Pictures
You've chosen a deck over a patio. Now what? Decks can be connected to a house or detached. Decking materials include softwoods, tropical hardwoods, synthetic woods and pressure-treated lumber. Then there's the type of deck you desire, along with shape, size and even the pattern of the wood. How are your do-it-yourself skills? If you aren't up...

How to Clean a Deck
Follows these steps to get your mildewed, moldy or gray deck back to its warm, beautiful beginnings.

Types of Deck Cleaners
Experts suggest cleaning decks at least twice a year. Take a look at the various types of deck washes, cleaners and brighteners on the market to help you find the best solution for your deck.

Composite Decking Brands
Composite decking is an alternative to all-wood decking and is made of materials that can include recycled and new plastic, bamboo and wood fibers. Consult this list of top manufacturers of composite decking.

Wood Types for Building Decks
Despite the popularity of composite decking, not everyone wants to go that way. Many potential deck owners simply like the look and feel of real wood. Others build wood decks for traditional reasons -- because their fathers, and their fathers before them used real wood. Often it's less expensive, especially in regions where trees are grown for...

All Decked Out: Building Wood and Composite Decks
You don't want a "slab" of concrete -- you'd like your outdoor space to rise up to the level of your back door, creating a near-seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. Sounds like a deck is the right choice for you. Decks work well on sloping, uneven, or poorly draining sites. A wood deck is cool underfoot and also dries quickly

Is Pressure-Treated Lumber for Decks Safe?
If you've built a deck or other pressure-treated lumber project since 2002, how can you tell whether you have a corrosion problem? Is there any reddish, rusty discoloration near your fasteners or brackets? If so, you may have a serious problem to deal with. Chris Baylor, About.com's Guide to Woodworking, offers solutions in this in-depth article.

The 5 Best Woods for Building a Deck
To build a sturdy, attractive deck, choose a natural wood known to withstand time, the elements, and frequent use. Here are five of the finest woods available for deck construction.

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2013: Best Decking
About.com's Readers' Choice Awards 2013 honors the year's Best Decking, as nominated and chosen by our readers. Some materials - like wood, the original and very basic decking material - have remained the same, while others have evolved as a reflection of the environment in which we live and include recycled materials and wood fibers

User-Friendly Tool Helps You Design a Deck on Your Computer
Let Lowe's Deck Design Tool help you design a deck on your computer. With the user-friendly tool on their web site, you'll design, plan and prepare your materials list. This helpful program gets you to thinking about wood, shapes, sizes and additional features, like seating and built-in planters.

Best Decking Finalists 2013: About.com Readers' Choice Awards
It's been narrowed down to three finalists for Best Decking 2013. Before casting your vote, find out more about the companies.

2011 About.com Readers' Choice Awards Best Decking: The Finalists
The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2011 Best Decking category honors the year's top decking brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers.

2012 About.com Readers' Choice Awards: Best Decking
The About.com Reader's Choice Awards 2011 Best Pool and Patio category honors the year's top pool and patio products, brands and manufacturers, as nominated and chosen by our readers. This is the first year that the Pool and Patio category has joined the Readers' Choice Awards. This year's Best Pool and Patio category seeks to honor the Best...

About.com Readers' Choice Awards 2012: Best Decking
As with the 2011 awards contest, many readers were quite vocal about their reasons for choosing certain decking finalists. In fact, the conversation will probably continue. Congratulations, GeoDeck! And a shout-out to the finalists these decking companies and products have vocal many fans out there!

The Best Free Plans for DIY Outdoor Projects
These free outdoor projects include deck, playhouse, treehouse and garden bench plans. The projects are for beginning to advanced DIY skills.

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