We are a Decked out!

Decks by Kiefer


We are in high outdoor gear here at Mandeville Canyon Designs. This summer includes a fabulous pool, some whimsical gardens and great new decks all around.

Now that it is unofficially officially summer, what could be better than enjoying a day of lounging around a new deck grilling and hanging out with friends, or curling up with a good book, or enjoying a sunset that meanders into an evening under the stars.

photo courtesy of Design Rulz

Consider this space valuable added square footage at the fraction of the cost of building a new room. According to Home Advisor the average cost of a deck is around $33 per square foot verses the national average for building an addition at about $150.00. And according to Hanley Wood you could see up to an 80% return on your investment. Add to that all the joy you get and that’s a pretty great ROI!

So, now that you are sold on the idea of a new deck, let’s talk about some things that go into creating the deck of your dreams.

photo courtesy of This Old House


If you already have a deck or are thinking of making improvements to the one you have, NADRA (North American Deck and Railing Association), reminds us of the importance of regular inspection and maintenance of your deck. There is nothing that will bring a party down faster than a deck hitting the ground!Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.42.51 PM

Consider inspecting your deck every spring and look for signs of rot and insect damage. This is also a good time to consider replacing warped or rotted boards as well as changing over any wood that might come in contact with water with something like Azek. Also routine staining or oiling of your deck will extend the look and life of your deck.


With so many wonderful materials on the market, the choice is really one of ease and budget. The most cost effective decking material still remains pressure treated wood. This material has come a long way from the old chemical laden days, but be sure to research the pros and cons. Also consider using this material for footings and posts that may not come into contact with two or four footers.

There are many wonderful and sustainable woods to be used in decking these days. From Ipe to Teak, Cedar to Mahogany, many of these materials are durable and long lasting and just feel warm and inviting to the touch. Prices per square foot can range from $3-$5 for an Ipe upwards of $40 for responsibly harvested Teak. Nothing replaces the look and feel of wood, but with that comes some maintenance. Regular oiling or staining will help prolong the life of the deck and give you decades of great use. Cedar is a terrific choice for low maintenance as it can be allowed to weather to a natural gray. Watch though for splinters and prevent standing water (one of the single best things you can do for any deck is to take care in the spacing of the boards. If you have standing water after a rain, your boards are too close!).


photo courtesy of Acorn Garden Houses Teak Decking

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 2.58.11 PM

Cedar Deck by Peter Lewitt










By far, one of the most popular choices today is composite decking. The composite is made up mostly of wood and plastic. The wood might be anything from sawdust to wood chips and the plastic may be virgin or, more often now, recycled plastic materials (Trex boasts up to a 95% recycled content in some of their products). Some of the pros are ease of maintenance (no painting or staining, color choice, resistance to fading,  warping and insects).

Another plus is that many composite deck materials have coordinating railing and post systems, making it easy to complete the look.

A few of the more popular companies include Azek, Fiberon, Trex, and Timber Tech. Prices range from $6-$12 per sq ft, with aluminum coming in around $11.00 per square foot.

Right now we are using a fabulous material called Zuri, by Royal Building Products. It combines the ease of composite decking with the beautiful look of exotic hardwoods ( thus letting those exotics stay right in the forest where they belong!).

Zuri inlays

So, once you have decided on your material, how about those railings and all the other amazing little things that make your neighbors suffer from Deck Envy?

photo courtesy of A Beautiful Life

Along with our Zuri, we are using a cable rail system for our rails. We wanted a clean modern look that would be easy to care for and allow guests to view the pool beyond for both esthetics and safety.

Again, composite systems can compliment a wood or aluminum deck or work in conjunction with a composite deck. Wood is also another choice, just be aware of the upkeep. Personal experience reminds me that no teenager wants the job of painting the stiles on a deck, for any price.

Check the code in your area for railing and stair restrictions to make sure you and guests are happy and safe.

Consider shade sails or a pergola if you are lucky enough to have a great deal of sun on your deck.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.16.43 PM

photo courtesy of This Old House

Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 3.42.41 PM

If privacy is an issue how about a creative way to block out those unwanted views while still giving a nod to nature?

photo courtesy of Plant Connection, Inc.

And don’t forget the lighting! Both for safety and ambiance proper lighting is a must. Consider both the post and the stairs and take this opportunity to bring on the LED lighting.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.20.37 PM

Photo courtesy of TOH

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 10.18.09 PM


And if budget is not a consideration, why not add a pool to your deck and a deck to your pool!

Agor Creative Engineering has married two amazing features in one with this deck that drops down into a pool allowing the homeowner to control the depth of the pool to accommodate all ages and levels.

We will take two please!


So, with a little care and planning, you can build the deck of a lifetime that will last as long as one too!


For more ideas and inspiration check out our pinterest page on Dreamy Decks.


Happy Dreaming!