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How to Create a Great Raised Deck

Sep 4, 2007
Homeowners generally make the choice for constructing raised decks because of quality of the views from such an upper level. In some cases the slope of the yard makes any other type of deck an impossibility. Individuals who own homes with walkout basements generally find that a raised deck is the only practical choice to gaining access to the deck from a main living area such as a kitchen or family room. A raised deck is also a solution to homeowners who wish to add a deck that adjoins a second floor bedroom.

There are a variety of design techniques to consider in making a raised deck an aesthetically pleasing addition to the home:

1. If the raised deck is high enough and there is a walkout from the basement, keep the underside open and turn it into a patio. Perhaps furnish it with with a small table and chairs. Place colorful container plant clusters along the area's perimeter points. Suspend a hammock between 2 of the upper deck support posts to create a place for a quiet nap.

2. Include lighting on the underside of the raised deck to illuminate the area after dark. Regular 120 volt fixtures can be used for illumination of the area. Low voltage lighting could be placed in such a way as to provide accent lighting. Colorful floodlights might also permit a measure of dramatic low level lighting to this lower area.

3. If there is enough room available, install switchback stairs with landings for a raised deck. They will increase the cost of the project but they are easier to climb and their complex lines tend to enhance the overall look of a deck. The careful choice of a railing system can also contribute effectively to the overall look of this space.

4. A level change can increase the design options of raised decks. A step down or two can create entirely new activity areas and add to the look of the decks. This could also be affected by something as simple as altering the shape of one of these deck levels.

5. Container plants and hanging baskets can be used to accent the underside areas of raised decks. Climbing vines and plants can be encouraged to use the deck support posts as vertical uprights for their growth.

6. Framed and reinforced latticework can be used to screen off areas below the raised deck while providing adequate ventilation. Include a door if necessary to provide assess to the area beneath the deck for storage.

7. Choose a deck railing system such as one incorporating glass panels or wire cables that will provide an unobstructed view from above of the surrounding area.

8. Plant shrubs and trees close to the perimeter of the raised deck so that in time the deck will appear to be floating on the tree tops.

9. Use the same decking and railing design in both the front and back of the home to tie the 2 areas together.

10. An L-shaped home can be a perfect choice for a raised deck which can fit beautifully into the corner of such a structure and help blend the 2 together.

It is a wise decision to talk with the local building department regarding regulations pertaining to the proposed deck. Requirements for deck size and shape, additional framing support, railings and stairs can then be addressed properly.

Careful use of a variety of design techniques can enhance the look of any raised 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
Raised 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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