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Your Oakville Deck Builder Answers the Question: What Size Deck Should I Build?

Once you decide to add a deck to your home, the next decision you’ll need to make is how large you want your deck to be. You may have a gut feeling like “not too big” or “as big as possible.” In order to make a firm decision, we need you to be more specific. What’s behind that gut feeling? Why are you concerned about the deck is too big or not big enough? These questions lead to the overriding question: how do you plan to use the deck?

We’re not trying to pry. As your Oakville deck builder, we simply want to make sure you get the deck that meets your needs.

How will you use your deck?

We’re back to that central question. Here are some possible answers:

Alone time:

  • Lounging on the deck simply to enjoy the outdoors
  • Unwinding with a cocktail, talking on the phone, reading or napping

Family time:

  • Lounging outdoors as you catch up on everyone’s activities
  • Dinner for two
  • Dining as a family: how many people?
  • Dining with extended family (more than one table?)


  • Formal seated dinners (1 dining table? 2 tables?)
  • Buffet, finger foods with guests mingling
  • Bar seating and ledges along the deck railing to set drinks or small plates

Additional space requirements

  • Grill or outdoor kitchen
  • Separate areas for lounging and dining
  • Built-in bench seating
  • An on-deck fire pit or fire table
  • Hot tub

This level of detail will help you think concretely about just how much space you want on your deck. Another consideration is “space around space.” This means measuring the size of your table and then adding space around it for people to move freely. You won’t just measure the table size; you need to measure the size with chairs pulled up to it. Then, add space for a diner to pull out the chair to get in or out of their place at the table. If you’re entertaining a large group, add space for others to move around the whole table while people are seated there.

Your Archadeck designer takes you from gut feeling to proportions

Your deck won’t exist in a vacuum. Because it will be attached to your home, you want to consider the size and shape of the deck in relation to the size of the house. Here are a few guidelines. They are suggestions, not firm rules:

  • The size of your deck should be proportionate to the size of your house. To many, that means your deck should not be larger than the largest room in your home. Some say your deck shouldn’t be larger than 20% of the total square footage of your house.
  • Aesthetically, most agree a deck should be wider than it is deep. This means the longer dimension of the space will run along the back of your house.
  • We often recommend breaking a large deck up into more than one level. The levels don’t have to be at drastically different heights, though. One or two steps up or down is enough to delineate separate areas of a deck.

Your Oakdale deck builder takes you from proportions to square footage

When we design your deck, we must translate your plans for using the deck into the square footage. We can help you visualize proportions and square footage by drafting architectural drawings to scale. We can also include images of tables, lounge chairs, outdoor kitchen, fire pit or hot tub—also drawn to scale—so you can see how much space each of these occupy.

Here are some incremental examples of specific square footage and what furniture each might allow:

  • A 12×12-foot deck offers room for an outdoor furniture set. That might mean a round or square table with two chairs. OR it could mean two lounge chairs with a tiny table between them for beverages. You won’t have room for a table with chairs as well as the lounge chairs.
  • A 12×14-foot deck allows space for a dining table to seat six. You probably will not have room for lounge chairs yet.
  • A 12×16-foot deck gives you room for a dining table and those lounge chairs OR a large dining table with a smaller one nearby, sometimes known as “the kids’ table.”
  • A 12×18-foot deck provides room to add a grill to the above mix.
  • A 12×20-foot deck may give you space for a large dining table, a smaller table with chairs, a couple of lounge chairs, and a grill. It’s getting a little crowded, though.

We could continue, but let’s sit down and talk over a sketch pad—with your specific requirements in mind. Notice the above examples do not include the outdoor kitchen, fire pit, or hot tub. We want you to have everything you want on your deck! This is your getaway space for relaxing, entertaining, and simply being outdoors. It will be yours to enjoy, and Archadeck of the SW GTA will custom design the specific deck for just that purpose. We have the experience of designing and building decks to lead you to the perfect deck for your exact lifestyle needs.

If you’re in need of a custom deck, call Archadeck of the SW GTA today to schedule a design consultation. (877) 362-5802 Your dream backyard is our mission.