Using Visualization to View Conceptual Design

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Quite often it’s hard to imagine what an Outdoor Living construction project you’ve contracted for will look like when it’s finished. While sketches, specifications and photos from other projects are helpful, you really won’t know what you’re getting until the job is completed.

With advances in computer software, now there are tools that can help you visualize your project early in the design process. This is the first in a series of posts that show how these tools can help you imagine what to expect before your contractor starts digging.

Before Image – Here is an image of the space where a Distinctive Patios client wanted to build a patio in their back yard.

Conceptual Image – This image was reviewed with the client and after seeing the patio in the context of their back yard, they decided to make number of changes including moving the seat benches & pillars, adding a fire pit and changing the pavers.

Completed Image – Here is an image of the completed project with the changes they requested. The conceptual image allowed the client and contractor to discuss possible changes before the project started avoiding both design and economic surprises.

Learn More – To learn more about how Visualization can help you get your dream Outdoor Living Space, contact Distinctive Patios and set up a consultation.

Deck Drainage Systems

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Outdoor Living Design Idea – Making the area under your deck useful.

Those of you who have a tall deck may be interested in some ideas for how to put the area underneath to better use. Whether it’s to create a place where you can sit outside while it rains (or snows) or to just provide some protected storage, there are a range of options for every budget. Here are just a few ideas starting with the most basic.

Basic Shelter

This solution uses corrugated fiberglass or metal panels installed on a slope underneath a deck to collect the water that passes through the deck boards. This is a simple design that could develop some leaks, but it is a low cost approach that can be installed quickly. Here’s a do-it-yourself video:

PVC Plastic or Aluminum Underdeck Drainage

There are a number of products on the market that can be retrofitted to underside of an existing deck to collect the water that drains through the deck boards and divert it to a gutter system. These products not only provide drainage, they also cover the deck framing with a finished surface. Here are two such products: TimberTech’s DRYSPACE and Magnolia Underdeck System.

Structural Deck Drainage System

This product has an innovative design that not only provides drainage, but also replaces the traditional deck joists with hollow structural beams and provides a finished ceiling underneath. wahoo decks’ DryJoist-EZ is not a retrofit solution and looks like a good approach for those willing to step out of the box.

Rubber and Plastic Membrane Systems

Here are some solutions that can be used to create a very finished look on the underside of your deck. Used on new decks, these membrane systems are installed on the topside of the deck before the deck boards are installed and channel the water to a collection gutter. These can be basic drainage solutions or can be hidden away inside a finished deck. Two such products come from Trex and DekDrain. You can see the finished product using DekDrain installed by Distinctive Patios under Design Elements.