Adding a deck to your home is aesthetically pleasing, adds to the value of your home, and creates an inviting place to entertain guests. Clearly, a deck is a good option, but how big should you make it? To help you out, we asked some professionals to share which factors they think you should consider when making this decision. Here’s what they recommend.
Bill Samuel

Bill Samuel

Bill Samuel, Owner of Blue Ladder Development.

Local Building Requirements

There are several specific rules and requirements for installing a deck governed by your local building department. The requirements for a deck will vary slightly for each town, so you’ll want to be sure to consult your local building department for a general overview of these requirements and what they will allow you to build size-wise.

After you have a solid understanding of the basic requirements, you can work with your contractor to create a detailed construction plan for the deck to submit to the building department for approval before starting the project.

You should use a survey to make sure the deck is constructed on property owned by you and also within the legal distance of the lot line.

Yard Size and the Deck’s Purpose

For practicality, you’ll have to consider the size and dimensions of your home and yard. If you don’t care about the size of your yard, a larger deck might be in the cards for you, but if you still want a lot of grass, you might want to make it smaller.

You’ll also want to consider what you plan on using the deck for. Are you going to be hosting many large gatherings? Is it just going to be you outside grilling? The purpose of the deck can help determine how big you want to make it.

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love.
Jacob Naig

Jacob Naig

Jacob Naig, Owner of We Buy Houses In Des Moines.

Materials and Furniture Placement

If you’re considering composite decking, they come in 12′, 16′, and 20′ [boards]. Going wider than 20 feet will require a seam down the middle. Treated lumber can be cut to length and also butt-jointed easier.

Also, consider furniture setup and grill placement. Decks are starting to become outdoor living spaces, and you want to design them just like a living room set up.

Maintenance and Cost

You have to keep a couple of things in mind when deciding on the size of deck you are going to build. In my experience, the best thing you can do is to start small. You can always add extra space if you are not happy with the current size.

A deck will be a lot of maintenance, so keep this in mind while sizing it! The smaller you keep your deck the lower the cost will be for building it and keeping it clean.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith from

Craig Brown

Craig Brown from HIREtrades.

The Deck’s Purpose, the Area, and Your Budget

1. Consider the purpose of the deck. Would you like to entertain your guests? Do you cook outdoors? Is it a private space? Do you want to make space for landscaping? Remember that different features require different spaces.

2. The size of the area where you will install the deck. The more space you have, the more size options you have. Also, consider the sun and shade, wind exposure, climate of your area, and the landscape.

3. Budget considerations. are factored into every decision, from the materials you choose to the accessories and design of the deck. It is best to do your research and get an estimate of the overall cost of building a deck.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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