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3 decks with upgrade ideas

Building a large deck

Building a large deck

A large deck should be designed as a multifunctional area, with space for a variety of outdoor activities. At approximately 650 square feet, this large, multilevel deck project adds an abundance of outdoor living area and smoothly integrates with a number of entry points to the back of a house.

A key benefit of this deck is access. Doors open to the deck from the kitchen at one end of the house and from a master bedroom on the other. The well-planned deck also transitions well to the yard. Platforms gradually step down from the highest level of the deck nearest the house to the lowest platform that opens to the yard.

Another successful design element is the use of individual spaces -- some designated by a shift in level, others by decking patterns -- to give each area of the deck personality and to indicate rooms. The octagon, for example, is a natural location for outdoor meals -- particularly when sheltered by a screened gazebo, as in the upgrade. The space adjacent to the master bedroom is a natural spot for intimate conversations and relaxing at day's end. Open areas nearer the kitchen and family room offer plenty of space for large gatherings.


  • Decking: pressure-treated lumber, boards parallel to house
  • Basic railing

Continued on page 6:  Upgrading a large-size deck


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