A gray, raised composite deck design with a railing.

Composite Deck Designs: What Features Should You Consider?

When you start researching different composite deck designs, there’s something you learn very quickly. Namely, you have a lot of features to consider for your custom deck.

For instance, will your deck have stairs, ramps, railings, lighting, or built-in seats? What color(s) will you choose, and what shape?

Rather than overwhelm you with options, the following article will help you sort through them.

Below, you can find the ultimate guide, chock full of composite deck design ideas for your consideration. In it, there are a plethora of different features described to include when designing a composite deck. Read on to learn more, and then contact Dupont Decks to get started on your dream composite deck design.

1. Shape

A composite deck design with a unique diagonal shape.

There are a few basic deck shapes to consider. The simplest is to plan the perimeter of the deck to run exactly parallel to the perimeter of your home. This shape is obviously an effective design but may not be the most impressive.

Instead, consider a parallel perimeter for the path of your deck with extended, patio-like landings. These landings can be any shape you like, although some of the most attractive are hexagonal or rounded designs. The path of the deck can be curved as well.

2. Stairs and Ramps

A composite deck design with gray stairs.

Next, consider stairs and ramps for your deck.

First, decide whether you want the ability to enter and exit the deck from the ground outside. Some people prefer a deck that can only be entered from inside the house. This is preferable for security, but it makes the deck less convenient to use.

Also, consider adding multiple levels to your deck—multiple landings connected by steps or ramps. These design features give the deck more eye-catching dimensions than a single-level option.

Finally, consider accessibility for your family and guests. Will anyone have mobility issues that you will want to accommodate? Are stairs with a railing sufficient, or will you need ramped entrances and transitions between levels?

Not only is this courteous and considerate, but it can also make your deck ADA compliant. And that’s a great boost to your property value if you ever decide to sell your home.

3. Color

wood-plastic composites material for the construction of terraces.

When choosing a color for your deck, consider matching the siding and trim of your home. The deck can match the trim while the railings match the siding or vice versa.

Alternatively, think of your deck as a separate structure, like a gazebo. Choose a color the same way you might pick a furniture stain for your indoor furniture or wood flooring. 

Your deck is a floor, after all. Think of what you might choose if the deck were an interior floor, for instance.

With composite decking, you can emulate the color and texture of many flooring materials. Thus, you can design it to match your interior flooring if you desire. 

4. Texture

A composite deck with a herringbone pattern.

As mentioned, the texture of your composite decking can be made to order. While most people choose composite decking that resembles wood, consider other texture patterns as well.

5. Railing Style

A railing fo a composite deck design with a brown top and blac posts

If you have a deck that’s low to the ground, like a slightly raised patio, you can forego railings as a style choice. For safety’s sake, though, most decks should have some type of railing to prevent falls. 

You may choose a composite railing that matches the material of the rest of the deck. Or, you can choose any other material you like. Popular choices include window-like glass panels or metal railings akin to a wrought iron fence.

6. Lights

Hanging cafe lights on a roof line above a composite deck.

How will you light your deck? You could include built-in lighting solutions in the design of your composite deck.

For instance, lighted steps are both attractive and important for safety. Or, consider including mountings for your tiki torches.

7. Gates

A dog sitting on a composite deck with a gate with pool access.

A lot of people don’t think of including gates on their decks. But those who have dogs or young children definitely should.

After all, many people use gates to block child and pet access to off-limit areas inside their homes. Built-in deck gates can add this same safety feature to the living areas outside.

8. Planters

Outdoor planters in a composite deck design.

Do you have a green thumb? Then why would you even think of designing a deck without including some designated planter boxes? Built-in planters are an impressive and fun way to show off your gardening talents.

9. Trellises and Coverings

A composite deck design with a covering.

Speaking of gardening, adding trellises to your deck allows climbing vines to embellish your deck. These trellises can act as purely decorative, or they can provide a discreet privacy aspect. And that’s far from the only deck covering option available to you. The point to consider is whether you want to add some type of covering for shade/weather protection to your deck.

10. Seating

Family outdoor seating with outdoor furniture and seating bench

You may, of course, leave plenty of space for chairs and other patio furniture. Or, you can choose built-in seating solutions.

Consider how nice it might be to have seating options that last as long as your deck does. Alternatively, decide if you’d rather have the opportunity to change or update your seating arrangement whenever you like.

11. Fire Elements/Cooking Areas

Wicker chairs surrounding a rectangular fire pit on an outdoor deck.

If you do a lot of outdoor cooking, you’ve got to make a designated area for this. A skilled contractor can create a built-in grill area for your deck.

Another excellent addition for both function and appearance is a fireplace or fire pit. Whether wood-burning or gas-powered, this will delight your guests and warm their hands in the cooler months. Know, however, that you need to confirm that this is allowed by local ordinances.

Which Composite Deck Design Do You Desire

A brown composite deck design.

So have you decided which composite deck design features you want most? We understand. With so many options, we didn’t expect you to make up your mind that quickly. But, surely, you now have a few inspiring options swirling through your brain. 

Therefore, it’s time to take the next step. Contact Dupont Decks to discuss your options with our deck installation professionals and get a free estimate of your decking project.