Get Your Curve On: Why Circular Decks Make The Best Outdoor Areas

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The human eye loves curves. Rounded edges are more appealing than straight or flat edges that make sharp transitions — perhaps they seem to be less of a threat to the primitive part of our brains, or maybe they invoke a sense of beauty that linear geometry simply doesn’t.
And curves on decks are especially appealing. Whether because it’s unique enough to be unexpected, or because rounded decks can actually be more functional in many settings, a circular or curved deck is both trendy and timeless.

Why Do Homeowners Like Curved Decks?
There are many reasons why you’d want a curved or circular deck built on your property, including:

  • A curved deck can provide an excellent viewing area, so it’s a great way to better see the views from your property or even just your attractive landscaping. Because there are no corners or long flat areas, there’s no emphasis on one specific view.
  • A curved deck makes an ideal seating area. Everyone can gather comfortably around a fire pit or barbeque area. Plus, conversation is easier when your guests are all seated in a circle.
  • Curved areas on a deck, like a rounded seating area, can provide private places for you to sunbathe, read or just enjoy the outdoors.
  • A curved deck can provide the perfect place for a hot tub. Some people also install rounded decks around small swimming pools that provide a fun place to cool off in the heat.
  • A properly-built curved deck can add more value to your property than a traditional deck and make the entire outdoor area more eye-catching to buyers if you should ever decide to sell.

Or, of course, a rounded deck may just fit the available space better or contrast nicely with the square lines of your home.

How is a Curved Deck Constructed?
While curved decks can, in some cases, be built entirely out of wood, most of the amazing designs you see today are constructed from synthetic or composite decking materials like Trex. Because Trex and other composite decking boards are made of reclaimed wood and recycled high-density polyethylene, it is much easier to bend than wood. And once you bend Trex, it keeps its shape with minimal reinforcement.

We use specialized equipment that heats and bends the Trex boards so you can achieve the exact look you want without taking hours to slowly bend the boards. A traditional builder might only get six to 10 boards bent in a day, but we can use a convection style of heating to rapidly get the job done on all the boards that need a curve. This makes it less expensive to create circular or curved areas or entire curved decks. In fact, other local deck builders come to us for our equipment and expertise in this method of safely manipulating Trex boards.

Who Can Build a Circular or Curved Deck?
A curved deck is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. There’s a high level of expertise required to properly construct a rounded deck that will hold up for many years. Find a well-established deck contractor with a portfolio that includes several round decks.

Why is expertise so vital in constructing circular decks? There are a couple of common issues we see just in making the rim joists that can result in a rotting structure or curved areas popping out of round within a short timeframe, especially in rainy climates. Sometimes these methods are even recommended by DIY sites, but they lead to decaying decks in a short time.

  • Using 1/2-inch plywood in layers and building it up to be a couple of inches thick. Exterior plywood is not designed to be so openly exposed to the elements. Because it’s made of thin layers of other woods held together with a water-resistant adhesive, there’s room for water to seep into the material.
  • Making kerfed cuts, a style of scoring the wood with a circular saw to get it to bend around the radius. There’s no easy way to seal these types of cuts — when they’re done in interiors, they are filled with glue and bonded, but outside they will allow water to get into the end grains too easily. And when nails are driven through this makeshift kerfed rim, they don’t do a great job of securing it and can pull through in some circumstances.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Other problems include failing to properly secure the joists so the center of the deck has too much “give” (trampoline, anyone?) or not securing the structure to the home.
Circular decks look fantastic, and the benefit outweighs the time and cost of building them, but you can’t cut corners and you have to use the right materials, like Trex. We have this expertise and can help you create the right deck for your property — and one that will last for years.

How Do You Get Started?
The first step to having a gorgeous deck is planning it. There are many examples of what you can do, and we always recommend that you look at decks in landscaping magazines and online portfolios. Pinterest tends to be a great place to find unique ideas, and you can also create your own board where you pin your favorites to show us.

We can assess your outdoor space and help you decide what the best solution is for your landscape and your budget. Contact us today for more information about building the circular deck of your dreams.