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How to Create a Great Multilevel Deck

Sep 4, 2007
Multilevel decks can be designed to provide the ultimate in flexibility especially when they are built on sites that have a slope to them. A series of different levels that step down from the home can easily follow the contour of the yard and create an aesthetically pleasing design. Multilevel decks should also be considered for yards that do not have a slope. The various levels can provide areas for different types of deck activities such as relaxing, sunning, grilling and dining.

There are a number of design techniques that can be utilized in creating an ideal multilevel deck:

1. A complex multilevel design can work extremely well when attached to a larger home with an unusual footprint.

2. A hot tub or spa can be easily incorporated into one of the levels of a multilevel deck along with additional built-in seating areas or sunning platforms. The combination will encourage interaction between individuals in and out of the water.

3. The decking pattern of one area can be different from one or more of the other levels. For example one level might have a diagonal pattern which would be different from the herringbone pattern one level down or up. A bonus of this technique is the fact that the different patterns would be a visual clue to those moving from one level to the next and a safety factor.

4. A wide set of steps can provide a dramatic transition from one level to the next. These steps can also be utilized to provide additional informal seating during large and small gatherings. Container plants and other decorative objects can be placed on the ourside edges of the steps to add interest to the design.

5. A wise choice would be to relate the size and shape of the deck to the home to which it is attached. A really large deck might be too imposing on a smaller home but the use of levels would assist in softening the impact without having to sacrifice square footage.

6. A gazebo, pergola or arbor placed in the corner of one level of the deck can become a destination on its own. That quality would be enhanced because it is on another level from the rest of the deck.

7. Creating a multilevel deck off a back porch is a unique way of making the porch appear to be another level in the multilevel deck design. This works extremely well when similar materials, container plants and decorative objects are used on both the porch and the deck.

8. Container plants can be used on various levels as a unifying element that links all of the different deck levels to the yard and surrounding landscape. It is wise to limit the number of colours used in order to achieve this effect.

9. Something as simple as adding another level can dramatically change the monotony of a rectangular deck. Several rectangular decks of the same or varying sizes can be constructed to cascade down a slope and create an exciting deck design.

10. Bench seating can be used to effectively separate different parts of different deck levels but permit passage to them. Planter boxes strategically situated are also possible dividers that can differentiate between various deck levels. Low privacy screens can also be utilized to section off deck areas but not overpower the total design effect..

11. It is advisable when making connections between levels to use extra wide steps to achieve a feeling of openness. It is also wise to use narrow stairs with railings or built-ins on the higher level to achieve a cozier ambiance.

Multilevel decks are of course more complicated to plan and build. However, the careful use of design techniques can enhance the look of any multilevel decks and improve the quality of life for their owners, families and guests.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Multilevel Decks and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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