There’s a reason more than 80% of homeowners who undertake a landscaping project plan to add a deck or patio to their property.
Sundecks don’t only add visual appeal. They improve the functionality of your home, expand its livability and add resale value, to boot.
Yet, with so many options at your fingertips, you might be wondering where to begin. From deck and railing colours to material types, there is no shortage of options.
Which colours work best together and which combinations are best to avoid? What about Vancouver’s wet climate? Are there certain decking materials that hold up better than others for this particular region?
Thankfully, you don’t have to wonder for long. Today, we’re breaking down how to design a sundeck you’ll love and use for years to come. Whether you’re replacing or repairing your existing deck or installing a brand-new one, this guide will help steer you in the right direction.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get into it.
Finding the Right Sundeck Materials
If you live in Vancouver, you’re no stranger to the rain. In fact, it’s the third-rainiest city in all of Canada, averaging more than 160 days of rain per year. This makes enjoying time outdoors on your new sundeck even more important when the weather is fine!
That said, you’ll have your pick from a few popular material types when you design your new deck. Most choose either wooden, composite, or vinyl decking.
If you live in a drier, more arid climate that doesn’t see as much rainfall, wood decking can be a luxurious and affordable solution that is as classic as it is customizable. Yet, while wooden decking is an attractive option, it is not as well-suited as other materials for wetter climates like the Lower Mainland. This is because any material comprised of even a percentage of wood can become susceptible to holding moisture. When this happens, over time the planks can warp, split, fade, delaminate, peel, or erode.
Composite decking is also a choice for homeowners in Vancouver who prefer the look of a wooden deck without the upkeep. Still, while it can stand up to moisture and and is water-resistant, it might not be a perfect fit for those in the rainiest of regions, as it’s not a waterproofing material and does still contain some recycled wood materials.
In all, Vancouver homeowners are wise to stick to vinyl, as it is devoid of wood products altogether, made exclusively from plastic instead.
Without a way to hold in moisture, vinyl decking is impervious to both mold and mildew, enabling it to hold up longer in this our coastal climate. This is also a low-maintenance look that you won’t have to restain or repair every few years. In fact, periodic washing is all it should require. Moreover, vinyl is virtually fade-resistant, which can be an especially appealing benefit if your deck is in direct sun for most of the day.
Long heralded for its durability and ability to withstand the elements, vinyl decking is a go-to option if you plan to use your sundeck as an extended living space. It’s scratch-resistant surface means you can move heavy furniture around with ease, without worrying about scuffing it up or getting a splinter in the process.
Are you designing an upper-level deck? If so, you’ll appreciate a waterproof vinyl one, as it allows you make better use of the space beneath it. For instance, you may have a concrete patio below your deck that could quickly turn soggy if the area above it leaks. With vinyl decking, this is never an issue. The water-tight membranes also make vinyl the go-to choice for rooftop decks.
Choosing Your Deck and Railing Colours
Now that you know which material type works best for your region, it’s time to get to the fun part: choosing your colour scheme!
Depending on your personal aesthetic, you can mix and match your decking and rail colours to your liking. Yet, there are some combinations that look particularly attractive together. Let’s review a few suggestions.
Duradek Colour Options
Is your deck facing the sun? If so, you might prefer a vinyl style designed to remain as cool as possible, such as those found under the Duradek Cool-Dek line. These five colours are up to 16% cooler than Duradek’s warmest colour, a shade known as Legacy Barnwood. They’re also 18% cooler than concrete.
If staying cool is your top priority, go for Arctic Quartz. It’s the coolest colour in the Cool-Dek line and will make walking on bare feet in the middle of the summer a breeze. It’s also a great choice if you have pets who love to sunbathe on your deck! Pair it with black aluminum railing for a sleek, modern look.
If decking temperature isn’t your top priority, you can choose from among Duradek’s other colours and styles. The Legacy collection features a range of natural-looking stone and wood tones. Forest Floor designs draw from nature and include an intricate leaf-shaped detail. As its name implies, the Cork collection includes neutral tones while the Heritage and Supreme Chip lines include more colourful options such as light mauves and sage greens. Then, the Ultra Okanagan, available in both non-woven and vinyl-backed styles, continues that scheme with more earth tones.
Those seeking a more textured look might prefer the Duradek Surcoseal collection, designed to look like suede from afar. Of course, those more interested in form and function over colour can stick to the Classic line, choosing from between sandstone and steel shades.
For those looking into composite decking, our two lines, AZEK and TimberTech feature similar colour schemes broken down by price level, which you can view here.
Applying Colour Wheel Basics
With so many available decking colours, it’s easiest to start by narrowing down combinations that aren’t well-suited for your home.
Take a look at your exterior. Chances are, it’s at least partially designed based on the colour wheel. That means you have one dominant color, one secondary color and one accent. For instance, your roof shingles might be dark brown (dominant), your shutters tan (secondary) and your trim off-white (accent).
Is your existing exterior colour combination analogous or complementary? In other words, are the colors all varying shades of the same few basic colours or are opposite each other on the colour wheel? Aim to continue that theme in your decking and railing colour choices.
Deck Colours that Complement Your Home
As a general rule of thumb, avoid matching your sundeck too closely to the shade of your house.
That means if you have a tan siding or stucco home, steer away from similarly-hued browns and creams when it comes to your decking colour scheme. This applies as well to almond, taupe or other neutral-toned houses. This isn’t to say you can’t have an analogous colour scheme. Yet, if you prefer brown decking, go for a style that is a few shades darker or lighter than your home.
Those with brown homes looking for complementary colours can also embrace cooler, grey tones such as granite or steel, or you can incorporate more out-of-the-box hues such as blues, mauves or greens. Brick homes also pair well with grey-toned siding, as browns and reds can be too close of a match.
Do you have a white house? Almost any deck will pop against that blank canvas. If you’re after a clean look that will showcase the deck’s features, go for grey. If you’d rather go bold, try deep brown or gold-toned decking (Heritage Sienna is a great choice.)
Along those same lines, grey siding has become more popular in recent years thanks to the rise of the modern farmhouse trend. Both modern and minimalist, this look is enhanced with warm wood and stone tones, such as Legacy Driftwood or Desert Quartz.
Choosing Your Railing Color
Want to add character, functionality and privacy to your deck? Custom railings are a natural addition. Available in wood, aluminum, glass materials (or a combination), you’ll have plenty to pick from here, as well.
If you’re opting for vinyl decking, it’s best to stick to aluminum or glass-paneled railings. Both are available in varying styles and can be painted depending on your preference. Pair a dark railing with a lighter-toned deck to make both features stand out, and vice versa. Greys and neutrals pair especially well together, as do natural wood tones and warmer hues.
Does your home have a white trim, or is it located in a coastal setting, perhaps along Lake Ontario? If so, white railings will look striking. More traditional homes can be accented by black deck railing, which also looks great with almost every home exterior, from stucco to cedar shakes.
If you’re leaning toward a darker color but don’t want black, dark grey or even dark brown can be a perfect go-between. Match these with warm wood tones for a seamless look that blends in with outdoor surroundings.
Design Your New Sundeck Today
Are you ready to spend more time outdoors and make that time count? If so, a new sundeck can be the perfect way to do so.
When you’re ready to learn more about this investment, we’d love to help. We’re the top deck builder in Metro Vancouver, with a team of experienced installers ready to walk you through the process, step-by-step. From deck and railing colours to material type, we understand the considerations that go into this project and we’ll help you make an informed decision every time.