5 Tips to Landscaping with Wood Decks

If you’ve ever seen the TV show “Decked Out” on HGTV, you can probably imagine how spectacular you can make an outdoor wood deck look. In fact, there are many home renovation shows today that illustrate the creativity that can occur from wood materials.

The days of old pressure treated or even cedar wood are behind us as the new wave of Composite Decking has really taken over the market by storm. Composite decks are essentially made of wood fibres and plastic and are known for no or low maintenance.

There are different grades even within composite decking, but the lowest grade is far superior to a cedar deck and lasts many years longer.

If you’ve ever thought about landscaping your Calgary backyard using composite, you have several options to choose from. So here are some landscape design tips to help you create the best outdoor spaces using wood decks:


Think about levels. One of the best features of using a deck is that it will often be raised from the ground – depending on the grade of your land. But if you’re at least 1 foot off the ground, you have an opportunity to create levels of spaces.

This will allow you to break up your spaces from the cooking area, dining area, and lounging area. One thing you can also do is create a level within a level. In other words, on one big deck, create a few “pockets” of step-ups and step-downs.

You can also create this by ensuring the landscape contractor working on your deck creates a unique pattern within the deck using the board layouts.


Two features to consider when building your deck are a pergola (overhead structure) and/or a privacy screen. This allows you to not only get a creative look to your deck but adds some verticality to what is seemingly a very horizontal plane.

Pergolas can provide nice shade in a sunny area by giving you some cover, and a privacy screen can give you privacy – which can be very effective for smaller yards that have houses so close together.


It’s always good to choose the right colour. Looks at the color of your home and match the deck accordingly. This can make a big difference because you never want the deck to look like an afterthought.

You can also play with colors within the deck by choosing contrasting deck boards. For example, doing a picture frame border between spaces and the inlay boards with a different colour.


Nothing pops a deck out like built-in landscape lighting. This can also be further projected on posts of a privacy screen or a pergola.

By adding lighting to the deck, you begin to create a very warm and inviting ambience to the space. Thought the lights won’t give you a big advantage in the dark of the night – they will create a sense of safety in the space – such as steps etc.


Often,this is something landscapers in Calgary don’t consider, but it’s an important detail to review. Underneath the deck should always be properly graded and then covered with some kind of a decorative rock on fabric.

However, by skirting the deck, you hide the undercarriage and give the deck an overall clean look. Some may recommend using the same deck boards on your deck to skirt with, but I always advise against this – mainly because the costs can get quite high.

I always recommend using smart-trim panels, as it gives a nice clean finish to it and allows you to paint it as you see fit. As a bonus, you can also add a small access door, so you have access for small storage underneath!

Landscaping companies in Calgary have for long played around with different backyard ideas to accentuate the outdoor living spaces and so by implementing these simple tips, you can ensure your outdoor deck is not only functional but aesthetically sound for your backyard!

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