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Installation & Maintenance

3 DIY Deck Ideas to Inspire Your Design

DIY Decking Series – Part III

December 17 2019
DIY Deck Building Decking
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This is the third installment of our DIY decking series. Click the link to check out the second installment on how to how to choose the right DIY decking materials for your outdoor space. In this article, we’ve rounded up a few conversation-starting DIY deck ideas to inspire your design.

By now, you’ve determined that you’re ready to take the plunge into converting your deck into your personal outdoor oasis…but where to start? These DIY deck ideas will guide you through each step of the design process, from determining board and deck shape, to landing on the right color, to selecting a board width (or two, or three). Read on to begin transforming your vision into reality.

Settle on Shape

Determining the dimensions of your deck is key, and it’s not just the length and width you have to worry about you also have to settle on the shape of your space. Certain designs will naturally flow better within the parameters of certain deck profiles.
The TimberTech® Deck Designer Tool offers pre-built templates to help homeowners find the right shape for their home, with ample options to customize. Take a look at the user guide to familiarize yourself with the tool and then jump in to begin transforming your vision into design.

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Then you can determine where your deck falls into some of these profile families and get rolling on your DIY deck ideas.

Square or Rectangular Decks

Square or rectangular decks come with a bevy of right angles and serve as a versatile stage from which to build. For homeowners of more traditional-style homes, such as a Craftsman or Cape Cod, the crisp and angular base translates well to a classic presentation­­.

But in terms of DIY deck ideas, the operative term is “versatile.” Right angle-heavy decks work well with a variety of home types, especially for more contemporary presentations. If you’re inspired by the contemporary look, opt for sleek or industrial-inspired rails with airier profiles. If you’re an owner of a mid-century or modern space, the understated elegance of contemporary-inspired decks will echo the look and feel of your home.

Because the shape of this deck invites a myriad of DIY deck ideas and design schemes, it must be said that it works well with just about every shape of home.

L-Shaped Decks

L-shaped decks also work well with most homes. In particular, these types of decks work well on houses with recessed profiles such as modern homes, ranches, and even farmhouse-style builds. L-shaped decks also allow you to play with conducting the flow of traffic — a pergola at the end of an arm, for example, helps anchor your design and invites guests to sit and mingle.

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Constructing the deck flush against an extending portion of the house allows you to maximize space and naturally invites guests to flow from dining indoors to toasting outdoors.


Octagonal decks can exude stately grace thanks to their architectural profiles or can infuse an otherwise sparse backyard with much-needed dimensionality. Contrasting risers and railings in a lighter hue than the deck enhance this effect.

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Envision Your Vision

Play with shapes and designs to bring your DIY deck ideas to life with our custom Deck Designer tool.

Claim Your Color and Grain

Once you've decided on your shape — and selected your materials — it’s time to discuss designs. If you’ve opted to go with the premium performance and sophisticated look of capped polymer or capped composite boards, you know that you next need to choose which color and grain fit your design vision.

To do so, select preferences from the following categories:

Decking Color

Think of the color of your deck as the background against which you’ll lay out your design. Darker decks lend visual weight to a space and can serve as powerful contrast pieces to a lightly hued home.

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Lighter boards, by contrast, visually open up a space, so they are well-suited for smaller decks. Lighter colors will also retain less heat, making them great DIY deck ideas if you’re looking to realize an outdoor living escape in a warmer climate. For warm-weather builds, TimberTech AZEK® boards are made with premium PVC materials from cap to core and stay 30% cooler than competitive composite decks, all while staying weather- and slip-resistant.

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Want to have your cake and eat it, too? Play with decking duos for a dual-color approach, or mix things up with multiple shades for a seamless yet multi-dimensional look and feel.

Grain Pattern and Finish

TimberTech capped polymer and composite decking captures all the texture and richness of natural wood without the susceptibility to mold, mildew or warping — and all without sacrificing an elegant appearance.

The key to evoking a natural wood look? The grain pattern.

TimberTech decking collections offer unique color mixes and one-of-a-kind wood grain patterns, each of which will contribute to your greater design vision.

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Design is the limit when it comes to crafting a compelling outdoor space, so don’t feel duty-bound to stay in one lane — instead, take the TimberTech approach and Go Against the Grain™.

Railing and Infill

Your railing and infill will frame your deck and either continue the aesthetic flow of your outdoor space or provide purposeful contrast. Options like TimberTech’s Builder Rail draw the eye thanks to a mix of composite top rails with aluminum infills for a boldly modern look, whereas white railing with classic post profiles and stately balusters à la the RadianceRail™, Radiance Rail Express®, and Reserve Rail™ collections keep things timeless. For decks in more scenic locales, opt for a glass infill that visually draws your sprawling vistas in.

DIY Deck Designs-Railing and Infill.jpgThink of how you want to frame your space and feel free to get playful with your design.

Add Variety With Different Widths and Colors

For a design that’s truly unique, consider using boards with various widths in your design. TimberTech AZEK has multiple options for boards in three different widths: Narrow (3.5 inches), Standard (5.5 inches), and Wide (7.25 inches). You can stick to single-width installation or go for a multi-width approach.

A Variety of DIY Deck Ideas

Use the slider to explore a variety of deck designs and styles to inspire your DIY project.

Single Width

A foundational deck layout defined by straight, consistent lines you can customize by using narrow, standard, or wide boards.

Picture Frame

Creates a border around your deck’s perimeter or helps define specific spaces within it.


Two narrow boards border a single, wider one to create this pattern that gets its name from pinstripe suiting.

TimberTech AZEK Coastline in Narrow, Standard, and Wide Widths

Multi-width boards are arranged in rows of narrow, standard, and wide and repeated for dynamic visual effect.

Diagonal Inlay

A pattern embedded within a larger deck layout that combines picture framing and angled, single-width boards.


Straight boards are arranged in groups and alternatively rotated for a geometrical layout sometimes called “box" or "basket weave.”


Angled boards come together to form rows of “V” shapes in this pattern that’s typically used to create an inlay.









For the true DIYer, great design is defined by variety and reliability. We don’t want to overstate our case, but with DIY deck ideas defined by TimberTech capped polymer or composite boards in ample hues, grains, widths, and applications, we can feel some serious inspiration.

Get a Closer Look

Need a little extra inspiration to fuel your DIY deck ideas? Browse our decking lines to find the styles you want and have samples delivered right to your front door – for free!