(BPT) - Some home improvements are simply worth a larger investment to achieve outstanding results. The extra investment ensures optimum returns in value, beauty and livability. Indoors, kitchens and baths rate that extra attention. Outdoors, decks are the pinnacle of great home improvements.
Kitchen or bath improvements must mesh with the quality and decor of the rest of a home's interior. When it comes to decks, however, it's perfectly OK to have the ultimate deck - even if you don't have the ultimate home. If you're planning to create your own decadent deck this year, keep in mind these must-have upgrades if you want over-the-top luxury in your outdoor environment:
Upgrading your deck's railing from traditional wood to something beautiful and exotic is one of the easiest, most impactful ways to dress up a deck's appearance. While some alternative railing types, such as glass or metal, come with their own set of issues, cable railing stands apart for its beauty, versatility and durability.
Cable railing provides safety and refined appearance without obstructing the view off your deck. Choose an option like Ultra-tec Cable Railing, which is made in America using the most corrosion-resistant stainless steel available, and you'll also have the opportunity to avoid one of the few concerns about cable railing: visible hardware. Ultra-tec's exclusive Invisiware hardware hides cable connections inside end posts, so turnbuckles and fittings need never detract from your view. To learn more about cable railing and to find an Ultra-tec source near you, visit www.thecableconnection.com.
Built-in fire pit
While a plethora of portable fire pits are commercially available for adding warmth and ambiance with a balance of safety, nothing beats a built-in fire pit. Whether you crave the atmosphere and authenticity of a wood-burning feature, or the convenience of gas, when you opt for a built-in fire pit the element becomes a fluidly integral part of the deck design. What's more, with built-in options you can tailor the fire pit's appearance to complement your overall design, and avoid tip risks associated with portable devices.
Hot tub (or other water feature)
For outdoor living, a hot tub is the pinnacle of luxury and relaxation. In fact, 77 percent of hot tub owners say their hot tub is one of the few things that truly transports them away from day-to-day stresses, according to a survey by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals.
From intimately sized spas that seat just two people to grand hot tubs that can host a half dozen people or more, you have plenty of options when choosing a hot tub. While built-in hot tubs impart a refined, luxurious look to a deck, portable models can go with you when you move some day. Consult a spa professional for help determining the size and type that's right for your deck.
Grills and decks go together like cookies and cream, but to take your outdoor cooking to the next level, set aside an area on your deck for an outdoor kitchen. These kitchens not only incorporate cooking facilities such as gas or charcoal grills, burners and even pizza ovens, they also sport wet bars, sinks and prep areas. Virtually any amenity you would find in a top-quality kitchen can be included in an outdoor cooking area. Your outdoor kitchen is not only a showcase of luxury, it can be the focal point of outdoor entertaining.
If backyard space permits, consider adding levels to your deck. Layering levels of deck adds visual appeal and interest, and also allows you to turn your outdoor 'room' into an outdoor house. With multiple levels, you can separate seating and cooking areas, create greater privacy for a hot tub and maximize available space.
Whether your home is modest or majestic, your deck can be a showcase of style, luxury and fun - and an investment that pays off in increased value and enjoyment.