Create an upscale deck for less with easy upgrade ideas

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Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 8:00 pm

(ARA) - Does spending time on your deck "do it for you" - or does your deck simply "do the job?" Now that warm weather has arrived, you'll be outside more; your outdoor space should be an area that you truly enjoy and are proud to show off to company. You may not need a complete deck remodel to achieve that level of perfection. With some smart deck upgrades you can create an upscale look for less.

Start by looking at the railing. More than just a safety feature, the railing is one of the most prominent design elements of any deck, and changing it is a cost-effective way to make an eye-catching statement.

Remember, your railing doesn't have to match your current deck material. If you have a wood deck that doesn't necessarily mean you need wood railings. Think outside the box and blend different colors and materials - such as aluminum, glass and composite - for a complementary look that increases the aesthetic appeal of the entire house.

Aluminum railings are increasingly popular because they allow homeowners to introduce a variety of baluster infills into their deck design. Durable yet lightweight, aluminum won't rot or corrode, making it a good choice for the outdoors. One example is Deckorators aluminum railing kits, which come in a variety of designs that are black or white powder-coated to weather the elements, plus they're backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

If you like the look of wood, but want something more durable without the maintenance hassles, consider railings made from composite materials. With a look that emulates real painted wood, composite railing options won't split, warp, rot or suffer from insect infestation.

While you're researching railings, it's wise to also look at balusters - the railing spindles - and decide what styles you like best. You can mix and match with your railing materials to get a one-of-a-kind look. Metal and aluminum balusters are popular and come in many shapes, styles, colors and sizes.

If you really want a distinctive look for your outdoor space, consider glass balusters. This is a particularly great option for decks with grand views, since the glass allows you to enjoy the landscape without the visual obstruction of traditional railing infills.

To create a dramatic appearance, consider adding a design to deck posts. Decorative postcovers enhance the personality of your deck by providing a stone pillar appearance to the entire length of each post. Deckorators cast stone postcovers fit over standard 4-by-4 or 6-by-6 wood posts corners of deck railing, and provide a realistic appearance of authentic stone, giving decks an upscale look at a fraction of the cost.

Finalize your deck upgrades with some decorative elements. Deck railing accessories can add the perfect stylish touch to any outdoor space. Decorative post caps, for example, install quickly and easily, changing the look of any railing to suit your design tastes. Ornamental post caps come in glass, metal, wood and planter styles. Some even feature solar lighting that provide a beautiful ambiance after the sun sets.

Some simple changes to your current deck structure can take it from drab to fab without the cost of a complete remodel. Explore your options today to create a deck you'll enjoy for many seasons to come.

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