Pick a deck
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Wood Magazine

Pick a deck

Decks can be almost any shape imaginable, but the shape of your deck should not be an arbitrary choice. Design the shape of your deck to conform to the terrain of your landscape, the architecture of your home, structural standards, and how you plan to use the deck.

The least complicated installation will feature a ground-level deck -- ideal for a flat yard and single-story home. Because this design hugs the ground, codes may not require a railing. Combine overlapping sections to make a deck cascade down a gentle slope.

Beyond the simple ground-level platform, decks fall into the three categories as shown on the following slides.


 

Wraparound deck
Deck to the right of house

Wraparound deck

This design faces two or more sides of the house. It's ideal when you want areas for quiet activities (a getaway outside the bedroom, for example) and large parties (adjacent to the kitchen) all in one deck. Wraparound decks also offer a solution for backyards that get different amounts of sunlight at different times of the day. Wraparound decks offer flexibility for families who want their outdoor space for a variety of needs. You can build a wraparound deck as a single ground-level platform, as a multilevel structure, or as a raised deck that provides second-story access.


 

Elevated deck

Elevated deck

An elevated deck can provide access to upper-level rooms or create a level recreational or entertainment space on sloping terrain. The least complicated version of this structure is a single platform supported by posts with lengths that follow the contours of the ground to keep the platform level. You can build one also to take advantage of a spectacular view you might not otherwise see.


 

Multilevel deck
2 level deck

Multilevel deck

This design, which can have sections with different sizes and shapes, provides a practical solution to sloping terrain. You don't have to build a multilevel deck on a slope. You can build one section of this structure on flat ground and use it to provide a convenient transition to a deck on an upper level of your home. Consider this design when you need additional deck areas for different outdoor activities.


 

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