As an extension of your home, a sundeck should be comfortable, inviting, and enjoyable. But to qualify as any of these, it first needs to be safe.
Safe deck considerations
Any sundeck can benefit from these simple tips to create an outdoor space that’s suitable for the whole family–including pets and small children.
In the wet Metro Vancouver climate that Citywide Sundecks works in, slippery stairs are a major concern for homeowners. They’re a liability in rental units and a hazard in your own home.
To avoid taking a spill on slick steps, clean them regularly. Use a low-grade pressure washer with a cleaning agent, or a scrub brush with some sudsy water and clear the surface of debris.
Increase texture on stairs by applying a liquid coating. The level of roughness and colours are completely customizable, so you can get just the look and feel you like. Rubber stripping is also a workable solution.
If you plan on having children or small pets on your sundeck, installing an aluminum gate at the top of the stairs is a smart choice. Investing in a sturdy gate is an easy way to prevent a potentially tragic tumble.
Practical Sundeck Railings
Railings are a sundeck feature required specifically for safety. But impractical railings can still be hazardous.
Insecurely fastened or improperly built railings are obvious dangers, but frequently overlooked risks are climb-able railings and ones with wide gaps. Toddlers or pets can easily scale or slip through.
Safe railing tips
To combat ineffective rails, cover them with an attractive facade like plexiglass or temporary bamboo fencing. Also, keep furniture away from the perimeter of the deck, as it can be used by crafty pets and children to hop the barrier.
Aluminum railings are a low-maintenance, sturdy solution that can be completely customized. Starting at $60 per linear foot, they’re an affordable (and attractive) safety measure that you never have to stain or seal.
Keeping your deck comfortable and inviting calls for furniture and decoration, but as you design your outdoor oasis, keep these practices in mind.
Adding greenery to your deck is a smart way to make a relaxing space. However, some common plants can be harmful to our health. If you’re going to have pets on your sundeck, check out this list of poisonous plants for cats and dogs. Curious children (or quirky neighbours?) may also have a munch. It’s best to avoid keeping rhubarb, water hemlock, bleeding hearts, and Lily-of-the-Valley.
Keep pathways clear of furniture, potted plants, and other items. Designate children’s play areas that are away from doors, stairs, BBQ’s and walkways.
Fire pits and candles are a great way to add ambiance (and warmth) to any area. Always attend to any open flame near your deck and keep a fire extinguisher on-hand. It only takes a few moments for a rogue ember or knocked over candle to spark a blaze.
A stellar barbeque is essential for any awesome deck. Especially when your children are around, never leave a how grill unattended. The catch basin is a magnet for pets, so keep it out of reach or covered with aluminum foil. Put a heat-resistant mat underneath and keep it at least a foot away from railings siding, and other objects to avoid damage.
Splinter-Free Deck Material
Going barefoot on your deck is a summertime rite of passage, but a splinter can quickly spoil the fun. Older wooden decks will undoubtedly victimize a few feet. Regular sanding and staining can ward off slivers.
If you’d rather spend your time enjoying your deck than maintaining it, consider switching from a wood deck to a more family-friendly material like vinyl or composite decking. These options only require periodic cleaning and can last 10-30 years.
On hot summer days, shaded areas will keep pets cool and people from getting too much sun. A sheltered area is also important for creating a refuge from rainy weather. Adding an awning or patio cover to your sundeck can help your whole family comfortably enjoy your outdoor space year-round.
The Citywide Sundecks Solution
A comfortable, inviting, and enjoyable sundeck is an invaluable asset to any home. Follow these tips to create your ideal outdoor space for the whole family.
If you’d like to upgrade your decking material, add a patio cover, or create a slip-resistant surface, Citywide can help.