Imagine sitting out on your deck on a warm summer evening. You’re holding a cool glass of lemonade, your partner is curled up with a book, and your kids are playing in the yard, safely within your eyesight. You’re already thinking how impressed your neighbors will be when they come over for a barbecue next week. You could live in this very scenario, but you are missing one essential part of the picture: the deck.
With the right preparation, however, you can change that. You can add a deck to your home, whether it be a simple platform in the middle of your yard or a deck that wraps around your second story. Prepare your home to be more relaxing and entertaining by looking through these decking ideas below:
Want to keep it simple? Go with a platform deck! This style sits low to the ground, only raised a foot or two. Thus, homeowners with one-story properties (or at least a ground-level floor) and level lots will attach this type of deck to their homes.
If you want to add a platform deck, consider the following:
- Since platform decks are built low to the ground, you do not need to add railings. However, you can add railings if you want to include extra flair or for generally safety purposes.
- Instead of railings, you can add planters, a gazebo, or curves and angles on your deck to give it some character.
- Platform decks are in direct contact with the ground and will face more foot traffic, so they must endure the elements more than other decks. At Rocky Mountain Forest Products, we recommend that you use exotic hardwoods as they are more durable. They poses almost no knots and are kiln dried (meaning less warping, twisting, or crooking). You should also apply protective sealer to your materials to prolong their life.
Raised, Two-Story, and Multi-level Decks
If your first floor sits above grade, you’ll need a raised deck. They sit higher than platform decks, supported by foundational beams set in concrete. You can even double the outside space to your home with a two-story deck. You will have to add another deck (typically a raised deck) to your first floor to support the deck on the upper level. With a multi-level deck you’ll connect surfaces at different levels with stairways or walkways. If any of these deck ideas sound like a viable option for your project, consider the following:
- Your raised levels will require railings as a safety precaution. Make sure to position lower levels in a place where the raised levels, particularly with the railings, will not block your view. If you have children, you may want to add other safety features, like shade cloth or plastic sheets between the bars.
- Place your levels according to their purpose and the climate. For example, you can keep one level close to the house and in the shade for entertaining, and another level out in the sun.
- You’ll still see the foundation posts when you finish the raised deck. If that bothers you, cover the posts with plants or skirting, which are panels that fit between the ground and your deck.
- Because of the structural posts required to support a two-story deck, this area may not look as charming as you’d like. Use thicker posts for visual interest or partial skirting to cover the exposed posts. You could also embrace those posts and make them stand out with an interesting color or texture.
You can build any of the decks above to extend around your house and provide even more space. A wraparound deck hugs at least two sides of your structure. Review the considerations above depending on whether or not you will raise your deck.
Unlike the other styles we’ve discussed, freestanding decks are not attached to your house. You might consider this option if your house’s construction does not easily allow for a deck. That limitation might turn out to be a blessing in disguise-you can put your freestanding deck anywhere to create a secluded area or emphasize an impressive part of your yard.
If you can imagine Juliet confessing her love to Romeo from her balcony, you have a good idea of what a loft deck looks like. These smaller decks usually extend the space of an upstairs bedroom. They do not include an exterior stairway, so the person lounging on the deck can still retain a little privacy.
Get Started Today
Take the first step toward a completed deck that you, your family, and your guests are going to love. It all starts with the right material and making sure you find solid decking ideas that will make your project stand out. Call us at (303) 502-9402 so we can start helping you with your project today!
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