Walk decks are a unique style of deck. Read this informative article setting out everything you need to know about walk decks including benefits, types, materials and more.
Whether it is in the garden, on the rooftop, or an extension on the upper level of your house, walk decks are a fancy way to add style to your home and they make a great leisure area for you to enjoy. Nature lovers are thrilled by this accessory as they can enjoy a part of their home in the open air.
When the summertime arrives, decks make the perfect place to hold a barbecue with friend and family or it is the perfect space where you can enjoy your place in the sun.
If your home feels too tight, maybe you are not using the space the right way. Adding a deck to one’s home in order to create extra space has been a great tradition in the American culture, today more and more homeowners are even turning to their roofs to create a perfect, usable outdoor space.
Table of Contents
- What are Walk Decks?
- Benefits of Walk Decks
- The Different Types of Walk Decks
- Can Walk Decks Be Added to an Existing House?
- Walk Deck Surface Materials (including best coating materials)
- Railing/Wall Materials
- Can Walk Decks be Covered? If so, What are the Different Types of Coverings?
What are Walk Decks?
Walk decks is simply a construction made from wood, concrete or plastic on the outside of your house that acts as an extra space for your home, yet it is not covered with a roof. They have a waterproof seamless non-skid coating which is intended for foot traffic.
Walk decks can be found on the roof, become an extension of the roof, at the same time serving as a roof for the patio, they can be an extension on the first level or they can be found completely separate from the house in the back or front yard. These decks wherever they are found, are both beautiful and functional.
You can choose to go extravagant or opt for a simple walk deck, therefore they can fit any budget. Costs can add up when you choose to add things like benches, picnic tables, pagodas or furniture.
Keep in mind that maintaining the space can be a yearly or bi-yearly job that you need to calculate into your home maintenance budget. With different designs (deck design software), personalized touches, and various of coatings and finishes available, walk decks can be made unique to fit any homeowner’s style.
Benefits of Walk Decks
Numerous benefits of walk decks are why homeowners love getting them.
Outdoor living: They provide you with one or more perfectly usable spaces without having to invest so much as you would when building a completely new room.
Make use of rooftop space: If you have a walking deck on your roof, then the most evident benefit is that you gain access to your roof so you can relish in the outstanding view your roof offers and it endows you with a sunshade for your home in the summer.
Roof decks can be used for multiple purposes that you can adapt according to your needs as the weather changes during the year. You can enjoy your walk deck all year round without worrying about a lot of maintenance. Not just do they give you extra space, but they improve the look of a property and this is one more reason they add value to properties and will increase the listing value for the day you are selling the house.
The Different Types of Walk Decks
There are several types of walk decks depending on the way they are built and where you built them.
1. Roof Deck
If you are choosing a walk deck for your roof, then you can choose between a green roof, pallet deck, paver deck or tile roof deck. If you are looking for simplicity on your roof, then the easiest way to install one is to go for a single wood deck that covers the entire roof surface.
If you have easier access to your roof, you can also try to install a pallet walk deck which comes in sections. Tiles are by far the most popular choice next to the wood. Before installing tiles, you have to make sure that the structure can handle the weight of tiles.
2. Outdoor Dining Space
Al fresco dining in one of the many perks of building a deck, it can either be a simple grill or an entire outdoor built-in kitchen. Keep in mind that the deck structure and building material should be of such that will accommodate the additional weight and stress of the equipment which you plan to install. What good is a dining area without tables and chairs?
Keeping enough room for your outdoor dining furniture should be calculated when going all out in creating the perfect outdoor kitchen.
3. Backyard Retreat
Imagine having your own backyard paradise! This can be made possible by adding a deck to the back of your home, adjusting it to in such a way to become a private lounge. With the help of some curtains to cover from the sun, a deck can be perfect for relaxing.
These desks are not difficult to set up, but the key is to accommodate it with plenty of cozy furniture and all the comforts of home, even electric or solar energy can be added for fans, lights, and heaters to give you that high-end feel and comfort.
4. Detached Deck
This is a free-standing walk deck that is not attached to the house. The sunny area of your lawn that was previously neglected can make the perfect space for this deck. If you have lots of trees then you can always head for the shades to create your shady oasis.
These decks are great to create a home-like area near a pool, spa or garden, giving you an area to retreat to when taking a break from these activities. As a cooking area it might not be ideal if it is too far from the house, but imagine sipping your afternoon tea in the middle of your garden on your deck and relaxing in the sun.
Can Walk Decks Be Added to an Existing House?
Walk decks are an exquisite way to upgrade a regular building or a house and provide it with a relaxing area to spend time on.
Unfortunately, the majority of people do not recognize how much value a walk deck can bring to their building. It is unfortunate that most people are under the false impression, that adding a walking deck on an existing building will be a significant financial investment, time-consuming and complicated construction process.
However, with the right walk deck contractor, that doesn’t have to be the case. From a long-term perspective, walk decks can only improve and maximize the usage of the entire property.
Walk Deck Surface Materials (including best coating materials)
Choosing the surface material for a walk deck is a matter of preference, budget and maybe climate. The coating, on the other hand, plays a significant role when it comes to walk decks. The top layer has to be thicker and durable to handle foot traffic. Coatings allow expansion and contraction due to temperature changes. They secure a walking deck and turn it into a seamless flat surface. Top layers help to extend the decks’ lifetime and prevent water penetration. There are various options to choose from to create a beautiful deck.
If you are looking for a cost-effective material for your walk deck, then pressure-treated lumber is the most common choice. Nowadays this wood is being treated with less harmful chemicals, which makes their bad reputation as a non-eco-friendly material a thing of the past. The maintenance for wood like this might be a bit more, because it needs to be washed, stained and sealed every year, but the price of purchasing is right.
Woods like, red cedar, redwood and mahogany offer beauty and high quality that will last long, but with better quality comes a higher price. These woods are a naturally rot-, decay- and insect- resistant material due to the heartwood component. In order to prolong the life of the wood, it needs to be scrubbed, cleaned, sealed and stained every few years.
If you do not want to bother with high maintenance materials, then plastic or composite decking is for you. Plastic walk decks can be made from pure plastic or a combination of wood and plastic which is called composite. Not just is this option low maintenance, but it is an economical option that contributes to the green movement by using recycled plastics. An annual power wash is enough to keep these decks maintained. The drawbacks on choosing these materials are that it can fade and warp, but there are different qualities with different prices available on the market.
Types of coatings
- Rubber coating: Rubber is a perfect option for wood decks. It’s easy to apply so you can do it on your own. Rubber coating has to be reapplied every 2 to 3 years.
- Cementitious coating: This is a good choice for a DIY project. It’s a common layer choice in southwestern states. Homeowners are fond of this coating because it’s reliable and durable.
- Fiberglass: Waterproof properties make fiberglass ideal for coating wood decks. It’s a low maintenance material but a sustainable and long lasting one.
Deck Coating Brands
- LUCAS #4000 Polyurea Traffic Deck Coating: ideal for balconies and walking decks. It offers chemical and wear resistance. It’s a durable and long lasting coating.
- „For concrete patios, balconies, chemical containment areas and other area where durability, chemical and wear resistance is needed. 2-Part, 3 Gallon Kit. Price/Kit. (SPECIFY COLOR before adding to cart.“
- MasterSeal TC 225 TINTABLE Top Coating- tintable coating with waterproof and traffic-resistant properties.
- „MasterSeal TC 225 TINTABLE Top Coating (aka TC 225HT, formerly Sonoguard). A tintable top coating, part of a complete traffic grade waterproofing membrane system. 5-Gallon Pail. Price/Pail. (see detail view for ordering notes)“
- CONIPUR 275 WATERPROOFING INTERIOR GRADE TOP COAT- even though this coating doesn’t offer UV protection, it’s still a high-quality waterproof top coat.
- CONIPUR 275 WATERPROOFING INTERIOR GRADE TOP COAT (color pigment not UV resistant), BLACK COLOR, 2-COMPONENT, 4.78G KIT. PRICE/KIT. (special order, see detail view for ordering notes)“
- Polycoat Polyglaze 400 Clear- For a subtle protection and elegant finish, choose a clear top coat.
- Polycoat Polyglaze 400 CLEAR- Top Coat. 5-Gallon Can. Price/Can. (340 VOC, not shippable to S. Calif or other VOC restricted areas)”
Without quality railings, walk decks cannot serve their purpose. Fences come in different sizes, colors, and patterns. The material and color that you will choose depend on your personal style.
The conventional materials used for railings are wood. Most often the same wood used for the walk deck base gets used for the railings. Sometimes, people choose a more exotic type of wood on their railing to make their walk deck special. Attractive wood decking materials are:
Cedar: most popular railing material is cedar thanks to its durability. This natural material is pest and rot resistant so that maintenance won’t be a problem.
Mahogany: known for its unique color and texture, mahogany is the ultimate material for outdoors architecture. It’s resistant to decay, so it’s a durable and sustainable option.
Redwood: UV resistant and rich in color, Redwood is a high-end railing material. It’s insect resistant and sturdy, so many homeowners prefer it.
Metal: Metal railings are relatively popular as well, especially if there are children in the house. They fit perfectly into modern homes. They ensure safety because of their structure. Most used metals are:
Aluminum: out of all metals, aluminum is the best for outdoors projects. It can withstand any weather condition, and it doesn’t rust fast.
Steel: Steel isn’t the ideal choice for outdoors, but it can turn out to be good if you treat it with coatings and finishes. Coat it with galvanized steel or powder-coated steel for the best effect.
Iron: many people choose iron because it suits Victorian style architecture the best. However, iron isn’t the most durable option, so it can become high-maintenance.
If you are a nature enthusiast, then you should consider installing composite or plastic railings. These are relatively new on the market, so always check with your contractor if they are a good choice.
Can Walk Decks be Covered? If so, What are the Different Types of Coverings?
Walking decks can be covered and should be for maximum usage. By covering your walk deck you provide shade and it is inevitable if you want to use it for hosting parties or family gatherings during the day. There are two primary ways of covering your roof deck.
Pergola is the simplest way to give shade your walk deck. Pergolas are mostly of the same material in which the walk deck is made of. It’s a cover supported by posts, and even though it doesn’t protect from rain, it provides your walking deck with a decent amount of shade.
No matter if you have a walking, floating or any other type of deck- deck canopy is a good option. It is up to you when you will use it- open it up when you need a shelter from rain and sun and close it when you don’t. Deck canopy is made in particular type of weatherproof fabric attached on a metal structure. Canopies are available both in manual and motorized versions.
Another way to cover walk decks yourself is to use large sun umbrella and if you are looking for a romantic feel to the yard a gazebo will do wonders.
Walk decks are wonderful, playful additions that can be added to a home. There is nothing conventional about them as you can change their function and style as it fits you. If you have several floors you can even elevate the deck to maximize your outdoor space and multi-level decks can be connected. It is always is a good idea to choose the same design principle as inside your house when it comes to decorating your deck. Make sure the outside furniture is weatherproof and mildew-resistant. Walk decks can become the fun addition to your home and when letting your imagination go during the creation of the project you will be surprised what can be done.
Home Stratosphere is an award-winning home and garden online publication that’s a result of our talented researchers and writers who work directly with hundreds of professional interior designers, furniture designers, landscape designers and architects from around the world to create helpful, informative, entertaining and inspiring articles and design galleries.