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Building Porches and Decks with Pets in Mind

So, you know what you want in a new outdoor living space…but what does your pet need? At Archadeck of Raleigh-Durham, we love building outdoor living spaces that both our clients and their pets can enjoy together. Homeowners with pets as family members may want to consider factors such as material durability, yard access, and surface heat when designing a new deck or porch. Fortunately, when it comes to home construction, the materials that offer safety, durability, and comfort are often related.

Screened Porches and Pets

Custom screened porchWhen we think of pets on a screened porch, one of the first things that come to mind is the durability of screens. If your cat is trying to catch a butterfly on the other side of the screen, you don’t want her claws to rip the screen. Or, if your dog runs out onto the screened porch so fast he can’t stop, you don’t want him to end up in the flower bed below! Even the smallest tear in a weak screen makes the entire screen vulnerable to greater damage. As your Raleigh-Durham outdoor builder, we are aware of this concern and recommend using premium screens for pets. The heavier screening is resistant to tears but doesn’t hamper your view.

Yard Access for Pets

If your yard is fenced and you want your pet to come and go freely from the screened porch, you can include a pet door as part of the porch door. Pre-fabricated porch doors are available with two sizes of built-in pet access doors for small and large dogs. Color and style options are available but limited. In some instances, if you are unable to find what you want, we may be able to customize an existing porch door with a pet access door to fit your style preference and size requirements.

If you are interested in managing yard access for your pet from a deck, we recommend a pet gate at the top of the deck stairs. There are several different types to choose from: some gates are latched, while others glide open and shut on rollers. Another good idea is to make sure the pickets on your deck railing will be close enough together that there is no chance of your furry family member squeezing through.

Heat and Pets

Custom patio with a dog in frontPaws are sensitive to heat when walking on any outdoor surface, whether asphalt, concrete, or decking. When selecting a color for your decking boards, we recommend the lighter-colored options because they do not retain as much heat as darker colors do.

As for lounging outdoors in warmer weather, pets appreciate a good fan as much as we do. Including a ceiling fan in your porch design can provide additional heat support to the shade cover it provides. On a deck, without a roof or a fan, including a pergola with a UV-blocking translucent cover can add much-needed shade.

Decking Boards and Scratches

Custom deck with a dogAnother consideration with decking is the durability of your boards. If you are concerned about an animal’s claws leaving scratch marks on decking boards, we can show you some of the products that are most resistant to scratches. For example, low-maintenance TimberTech Terrain decking is capped with a polymer shell making it more scratch-resistant than some other composite decking boards.

If you’re interested in building a custom deck or porch to enjoy that will also keep your fur baby happy and safe, consider Archadeck of Raleigh-Durham your local expert. Give us a call today to learn more: }. We look forward to working with you!