During the spring and summer, your deck can almost seem like an extra room to your house. You may enjoy reading, caring for plants, watching movies, or any other hobbies you have. It might even be a place for older children to play so you can have peace and quiet to fix supper after helping with their homework. You aren't going to use it as often in the winter, but it doesn't have to completely close down if you want to maintain the extra space.

Outdoor Cooking

Grilling is a common use for decks and because it provides heat you can still cook outside during the winter. Cooking doesn't have to be limited to bar-b-cue on a charcoal or propane grill. Custom deck renovations can add electric or natural gas appliances to build a permanent kitchen on a deck where you can cook as easily as you do indoors. You'll get a bit of fresh air and some extra movement from dressing for the weather and moving from the deck to the dining area, which you'll find helps you enjoy the food and then relax afterwards.

Customized Deck Upgrades

Further customization can make the deck even more useful in the winter. A built in fire pit or fireplace can add warmth and light when the sun goes down early in the evening. Built in seating and customized railings can help keep the heat in and block the cold winds of winter. Another idea is to add structural support for a hot tub which can seem almost magical to sit in during the cold weather.

Enclosing a Deck or Porch

If you've come to rely on the extra space your deck provides to the point it's really an inconvenience when it rains, or if you have a total aversion to the idea of spending time outdoors when it gets really cold, there are still solutions as to how you can use your deck in the winter. Covering it with a roof and enclosing the deck with screen or glass can maintain the feeling of the deck while providing the convenience and comfort of an inside room.

The best way to approach any such project is to talk to a contractor with some of your needs and ask for advice as to what has worked for other people. You may be surprised at just how useful your deck can be in the winter with a bit of thought and planning.