By Merri Cvetan
There are many reasons to build a deck in your yard. Besides the added value to your home, a deck gives you plenty of extra living space. Nothing is better than stepping outside onto a beautiful deck to enjoy a good meal, relax or entertain friends and family.
When choosing the appropriate deck style for your home, assess your living and entertaining needs. Do you enjoy eating outdoors? Do you throw parties often? Do you prefer to relax in the sun or under the shade? How many people live in your home? Will you have a grill or hot tub on the deck? Along with your personal needs, the size of your home and lot may also dictate the kind of deck you can install. A yard with an unusual shape or slope may call for a different style deck than a yard with a flat terrain. Start with these six options to find the deck that works best for your home.
An attached deck is connected to the house. This is the most common deck style, usually built at the back of the house, and can be raised or level with the yard. This deck gives you easy in-and-out access and becomes an extension of your interior living space.
An island deck is a free-standing deck installed away from the house and out in the yard. You might have an especially lovely cluster of trees and want to take advantage of the shade, or maybe there is a pond or flower garden next to which it makes sense to build a relaxing seating area. Maybe you simply want to create a “secret garden” deck away from your home. This deck is more an extension of your yard than of your house.
A floating deck is built on a platform and seems to “float” above the ground. The foundation and structure pieces are hidden underneath. A floating deck is low to the ground and can work on uneven or rocky terrain, as you don’t have to worry about leveling the area like you would with a concrete or stone patio.
A wraparound deck is built on two or more sides of the house. It allows you to take advantage of multiple views, and when one side of the house gets too sunny, you can move to the shade while remaining outdoors.
Multi-level or tiered decks are perfect for yards with steep slopes or uneven terrain, or for homes with two or more stories. Connected with a series of stairs or pathways, they take advantage of the great views a taller home has to offer and create several spots for entertaining and relaxing. Multi-level decks can also consist of wide stairs that lead down to the yard. Each stair is extended to become a mini-deck of its own, creating additional space for seating or entertaining.
6. Around a Tree
If you have a grand old tree, consider building a deck around it. This style is similar to an island deck in that it’s not attached to the house. For a more natural look, add wood furniture and chairs for seating.
Get creative and have fun designing your new outdoor living space. Try built-in seating around the edge instead of traditional railings, add custom planters for an intimate flower or herb garden, or install an outdoor kitchen or fire pit on your deck. The ideas are endless!
As an interior designer, Merri Cvetan provides design advice for the inside and outside homes. She writes on a range of topics from creating a unique kitchen backsplash to designing a deck to fit your lifestyle. To see more ideas on deck planning, visit The Home Depot.