Your Denver residential decking company has installed your custom deck, and it’s a glorious day to enjoy it. Picture this scene….
Your significant other and three close friends are in the nearby hot tub. You’re checking the meat on your rotisserie grill for the summer shin-dig you’re throwing. Then, you settle into your hammock. One foot hanging off, you change the playlist on your phone to manifest a new mood as the sun starts to set on your weekend day.
Your best mate is just a few feet away, making blended drinks at your outdoor bar area.
Sound dreamy? None of this would be possible if your deck didn’t have one thing…
When planning for your deck or attempting a deck DIY, your residential deck installer knows a thing or two that are easily overlooked or forgotten. The most common is electricity and electrical outlets.
If you have a small porch or patio, there may be no outside electrical outlets at all. Otherwise, most houses have one double outlet located just outside their back door.
One is better than none, but if you dream of having a deck installed or extended or realize how badly you need more outlets out-of-doors, it’s time to check with your decking contractor and hire an electrician.
Harness the Power
Let’s talk about electricity use on your deck. What could you possibly need to plug in outside that would make one double outlet insufficient? Well, there are:
- Lights (for parties, holidays, or every day)
- Electric grills or smokers
- Phone or laptop chargers (as you jam, or relax, to music, or remote work outside)
- Fans or heaters
- Hot tub
- Electric yard tools (power washer, leaf blower, hedge trimmer)
And if you have festive lights up almost year-round, that takes one outlet away almost permanently.
But, Extension Cords…
Extension cords have their place, but at their best, you’ve only extended the reach but not gained any additional receptacles, and at worst, you’ve grabbed a multi-plug indoor one to use temporarily.
Either way, you’re likely to still have cords crisscrossing everywhere across your deck, detracting from its loveliness and creating a genuine safety concern. Not only is it a tripping hazard, but what if you (but probably one of your family members, right?!) forget to bring it in at the end of a long weekend day (Curse that luau shin-dig with its blended beverages!) and it happens to rain overnight.
Yep, extension cords are great, but they’re not the safest or best alternative for outside.
Where to Install Electrical Outlets Outside
Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that you need more than one outlet for your deck by giving you an idea of the things most homeowners use on a regular basis outside and showing you that it’s safer than relying on extension cords you have around the house.
Next, you might be wondering where to tell your electrician to install them. Here are our top three locations:
- Off of the deck–It might seem like a silly place to put an electrical outlet, but you’d be surprised. It’s the perfect place to plug in electric yard tools or an electric grill you don’t want to keep on the deck.
- The perimeter of the deck–Along corners, rail posts, and the edges of floor beams is where homeowners typically place chairs and tables. It’s the perfect place to plug in a phone or laptop. Don’t batteries seem to drain faster when in the hot sun?
- Wherever your grill will be–In case you get a grill with an electric component like a side burner or a rotisserie, it’s best to plan where you’ll be grilling and add one there.
Know When to Call the Pros
Deck outlet kits are great but require some tools and electrical knowledge that the average homeowner doesn’t have. We recommend most people to work with their electrician and residential deck installer for many reasons:
1) You could be dealing with wood requiring special tools for cutting
2) You may need permits pulled or HOA permission depending on what you want done
3) You need specific outlets and outlet covers that meet electrical codes and requirements
4) You need to ensure that your entire completed project is safe; electricity is dangerous.
Every Deck Needs More Outlets
Additional electrical outlets are the number one thing everyone needs for their deck. However you plan on making the most of your outdoor space and your deck, make sure to plan for electricity use outside. Even if you don’t need it now, chances are good that you’ll need it down the road.