All Decked Out - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

All Decked Out

(ARA) - A deck can add value and usability to a home. It is one of the most basic structures in home construction, and most do-it-yourselfers have the skills to build or embellish one.

The experts at Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, www.rockler.com, offer the following tips for creating a great outdoor space.

* If you're starting from scratch or adding on to the existing deck, the perfect one-person tool is the Bowrench Deck Tool. It frees up your hands as it can bend several boards simultaneously, including warped boards, and it can close gaps as wide as 2 1/4 inches.

* Conversation areas can be created and additional seating built in with the use of mounting brackets. The brackets mount directly to the deck, allowing for most configurations and easily customizing your seating arrangements.

* Consider attractive balusters or centerpieces made from lightweight, easy to care-for aluminum, which offers the look and charm of wrought iron without the cost or maintenance. Balusters can be simple with clean lines like Rockler's Colonial or Classic styles or more ornate with arcs and curves in the Baroque and Arc styles. Make a statement with an attachable decorative centerpiece. The detailing in the Classical, Vineyard, Nouveau and Fleur De Lis styles will add interest and personality to your deck. A variety of colors can match any existing deck furniture. If you want to accentuate the rustic wilderness look, a scenic balcony panel might be the solution to your deck design. Trees, elk or fighting elk scenes turn a plain deck into a majestic one.

* Enjoy your outdoor room even in the twilight hours. Don't let the darkness chase you inside. Instead, extend your deck's open hours with a lighting system. Simple floor-mounted systems like the In-Deck Lighting Disks system come in kits of 10 lights, are puck sized and can be walked on. For a softer lighting effect, deck lighting like the mini louvered light can be attached close to the floor on the deck posts and balusters. Made in cast aluminum, these are also maintenance free.

If you prefer your lighting at eye level, choose lighting systems that attach to the post caps like the Pyramid deck lights line or try the solar-lighted post caps, which provide up to 10 hours of light per night.

* Deck oil weather treats wood and still allows it to breathe. Woodburst Chinawood Deck Oil renews the finish and conditions and restores pressure treated lumber.

To learn more about deck design, visit www.rockler.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content
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