Many factors will affect the design of your deck. These can include the architectural style of your house, contours of your property, restrictions imposed by setbacks and codes, and location of major landscaping features, such as large trees and outbuildings. In basic terms, a single-level, ranch-style house would probably look best with a low, platform-style deck. Such a simple deck would probably look out of place on a larger, more elaborate home. There, a multilevel deck with interesting overheads-such as a pergola or arbor-would help keep the design in proportion.
Deck designs are so diverse that it's difficult to pinpoint a particular style. However, identifying the five basic configurations is a good place to begin designing your deck.
Continued on page 2: Platform Decks