8 Must-Have Built-In Decking Features

Beautiful wooden deck at sunset with plush seating, ambient lighting, fire pit, planters, grill station, and sunshade overlooking a serene landscape.
Jump to section

Adding built-in features to your deck can significantly enhance your outdoor living space, making it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. In this article, we’ll discuss eight must-have built-in decking features to help you create the perfect outdoor oasis for relaxing and entertaining.

Built-in Planters

Integrating planters into your deck design not only adds a touch of natural beauty but also allows for easy gardening. There are numerous built-in planter designs and materials to choose from, such as wood, metal, or composite materials. When selecting a planter, consider the types of plants you’d like to grow and the overall design of your deck. Some popular options include raised beds, tiered planters, and window boxes.

A variety of built-in planter designs integrated into a deck

Built-in planters can be placed along the perimeter of your deck or used to create dividers or focal points within the space. For added convenience, consider installing an irrigation system to ensure your plants receive the proper amount of water.

Built-in Seating

Built-in seating is a versatile and practical addition to any deck, as it maximises your outdoor living space and creates a cosy atmosphere for entertaining guests. Benches, sofas, and chairs can be incorporated into your deck’s design, with materials such as wood, metal, or composites to match your overall aesthetic.

A stylish built-in bench on a deck, with cushions and throw pillows

For added comfort, consider adding cushions or throw pillows to your built-in seating. Waterproof outdoor cushions can be found on Amazon, in various colours and patterns to suit your taste. For more seating inspiration, check out our guide to decking design and expert tips.

Built-in Lighting

Incorporating lighting into your deck design is essential for both aesthetic appeal and functional illumination for outdoor activities. There are several built-in lighting options available, such as LED strip lights, recessed deck lights, and solar-powered post caps. When selecting lighting, consider energy efficiency, cost, and installation requirements.

Type of LightingEnergy EfficiencyCostInstallation Requirements
LED Strip LightsHigh$$Moderate
Recessed Deck LightsModerate$Easy
Solar Post CapsHigh$$$Easy

When planning your deck lighting, consider creating different zones for various purposes, such as ambient lighting for relaxation and task lighting for cooking or dining. For more lighting options and ideas, take a look at our ultimate guide to garden decking planning and design.

Built-in Storage

Built-in storage is a practical addition to your deck, providing a convenient place to store outdoor equipment, furniture, or toys. Storage can be integrated into seating, planters, or standalone compartments. Materials such as wood, metal, or composites can be used to match your deck’s design.

A storage compartment integrated into a built in bench on some garden decking

When selecting built-in storage, consider the items you need to store and the amount of space available on your deck. For example, you may opt for a storage bench that doubles as seating, or a hidden compartment beneath a section of the decking. For a variety of outdoor storage solutions, explore Amazon’s selection of deck boxes.

Built-in Fire Pits

A built-in fire pit can add warmth and ambiance to your outdoor living space, creating a focal point for gatherings. Fire pits come in various designs and can be fuelled by wood, propane, or natural gas. When planning a fire pit, consider the materials used, such as fire-resistant stones or metal, as well as safety considerations, such as installing a fire pit screen or ensuring sufficient clearance from flammable materials.

A cozy built-in fire pit with seating, surrounded by a deck

Keep in mind that local regulations and laws may apply to fire pits, so be sure to check with your local council before installation. For a selection of fire pit options, visit Amazon’s fire pit page. And for more ideas on incorporating a fire pit into your deck design, read our blog post on cheap and easy alternatives to decking.

Built-in Hot Tubs

A built-in hot tub can add a luxurious touch to your deck, providing a relaxing retreat for you and your guests. When planning a hot tub installation, consider factors such as structural support, access for maintenance, and electrical requirements. Additionally, it’s essential to comply with local building codes and safety regulations.

A built-in hot tub on a deck, with ambient lighting and lush plants

For a selection of hot tubs suitable for deck installations, browse Amazon’s hot tub offerings. If you’re looking for professional assistance with your hot tub installation, consider our local decking services in Preston.

Built-in Grills

Built-in grills are a convenient feature for outdoor cooking and entertaining, and can also add value to your home. Grill stations can be designed to include counter space, storage, and even refrigeration, with materials such as stone, brick, or metal to match your deck’s aesthetic.

 A sleek built-in grill station on a deck, complete with counter space and storage

When selecting a built-in grill, consider factors such as fuel type (gas, charcoal, or electric), cooking surface area, and additional features like side burners or rotisseries. For a range of built-in grill options, check out Amazon’s collection of outdoor grills.

Built-in Water Features

Incorporating water features into your deck design can create a calming and serene outdoor environment. Options include fountains, ponds, or even small waterfalls, which can be integrated into the deck itself or placed nearby.

A calming built-in water feature, such as a fountain or pond, surrounded by a deck

When planning a water feature, consider factors such as water supply, drainage, and maintenance requirements. It’s essential to ensure that your deck can support the added weight of a water feature and that any electrical components are installed safely. For a selection of water features suitable for decks, explore Amazon’s water feature offerings.


Q: How do I choose the rightbuilt-in features for my deck?

A: To choose the right built-in features for your deck, consider factors such as the size of your outdoor space, your budget, and your intended use for the area. Think about which features will enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your deck while complementing your lifestyle and the overall design of your outdoor space.

Q: What are the cost implications of adding built-in features to my deck?

A: The cost of adding built-in features to your deck can vary greatly depending on the materials used, the complexity of the design, and any required professional installation. Some features, such as built-in seating or planters, may be more affordable, while others, like hot tubs or fire pits, can be more expensive. It’s important to plan and budget accordingly to ensure you get the most value from your investment.

Q: How do I maintain built-in features on my deck?

A: The maintenance of built-in features will depend on the specific feature and the materials used. For example, wooden seating or planters may require regular sealing or staining, while water features may need periodic cleaning and water treatment. Be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines and recommendations for maintaining your built-in features to keep them in top condition.

Q: Are there any safety concerns with built-in features like fire pits or hot tubs?

A: Safety should always be a priority when incorporating built-in features into your deck. For fire pits, ensure there is sufficient clearance from flammable materials and that local regulations are followed. Hot tubs should be installed with appropriate structural support and electrical safety measures in place. Always consult with professionals and follow local building codes and safety guidelines to ensure the safe installation and use of your built-in features.

Q: Can I retrofit built-in features on my existing deck or should I plan for them during the initial deck construction?

A: While it’s possible to retrofit built-in features on an existing deck, it’s generally easier and more cost-effective to plan for these features during the initial deck construction. Retrofitting may require additional structural support, modifications, or even a complete redesign, which can be more expensive and time-consuming than incorporating the features from the start.


Incorporating built-in features into your deck design can significantly enhance your outdoor living space, making it both functional and visually appealing. By carefully considering your needs, budget, and overall design goals, you can create a stunning and versatile outdoor space perfect for relaxation and entertaining. As you plan your next decking project, explore the various built-in features we’ve discussed to create the ideal outdoor oasis.

As Amazon associates we earn from qualifying purchases