ideas for creating an outdoor living space

ideas for creating an outdoor living space

A Dog-Friendly Deck: Four Special Considerations To Discuss With Your Contractor Before You Build

by Kyle Brown

When decks are designed, there's one family member oft forgotten, but whose importance nonetheless warrants important consideration. Before you call a contractor with your deck-building plans, think about how your dog (or dogs) will fare with the new construction.

1. Do Decking And Rails Take Heads And Paws Into Account?

The floor of your deck, along with the slats in the side railings, should take into account the fact that dogs tend to poke their heads out of any space possible, and that paws can get caught, too. Make sure the decking doesn't have wide enough gaps to compromise your dog's footing, and that the side rails are either small enough to discourage a head from poking through, or large enough to accommodate the act.

2. Will A Run Ruin Your New Deck?

While it may be very convenient to have the run located right outside your door leading onto the deck, so you can secure the animal without venturing out into the yard, allowing him free reign of the deck could be catastrophic, especially if he's a big dog. The run will constantly scrape against the floor of the deck, possibly destroying the surface, and as your dog roams around, he's likely to become tangled up in anything on the porch, from your nice chaise lounge to pretty potted plants.

It's not really fair for the dog to get in trouble for wreaking havoc, when the run should be installed in a more thoughtful location to begin with. Your contractor can tell you how durable composite and treated decks are, and whether or not they're likely to withstand the wear-and-tear your pup will put out.

3. Is There Sufficient Shade For The Dog If He's Kept On The Deck?

If your dog is so well-behaved that he doesn't require being tied up, or your yard is vast and safe, far away from the hazards of traffic, you may want to let him use the deck as his main outdoor area -- just make sure there's something to protect him from the sun's relentless rays. Your contractor could come up with a wrap-around design, where the deck goes around more than one side of the house, thereby leaving your dog a constant source of shade. However it's managed, though, the pooch needs protection.

4. Can The Contractor Incorporate A Dog House Into The Deck Plans?

If you're having a small deck built that leads from a main entrance and down a flight of stairs, there could be space underneath, where the footings will be located, for a pretty cool dog house. This area is generally used for storing yard tools or trash cans; however, if you're worried about your pet getting caught up in deck furniture, or wearing down the flooring with his sharp, protruding claws, ask the decking contractor about turning the space beneath the new porch into a cool space for the dog. He'd have the shade he needs, be located relatively close to your entrance, and have a little bit of roaming room to boot.

Hindsight is 20/20, but if your contractor hasn't broken ground yet, stop everything until you've discussed all the important considerations of having a dog on deck. You don't want to finalize building plans only to realize, after it's built, that you should have thought more about how the canine family member will fit in. For more information, you can contact deck builders like Freeborne.


About Me

ideas for creating an outdoor living space

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? Do you struggle to have enough space to hold family dinners with all of your extended family? If so, it is time to consider adding an outdoor living space to your home. Something as simple as a furnished patio can make your life a little more enjoyable. You could even go all out like I did and have a full outdoor kitchen installed. During the summer, I never use the kitchen inside my home. I am always outside cooking dinner, baking goodies and spending time in the fresh air. To get a few ideas about how to design your outdoor living space, go to my site.