Raised Deck Basics
Raised decks are common because most houses sit on foundation walls that position the main-level floor several feet above grade. Raised decks require railing systems for safety and stairs to make the deck accessible to the yard.
Raised decks have foundation posts that are exposed to view when the structure is complete. The structural members can be concealed with foundation plantings--such as shrubs--or with skirting, which usually consists of lath or lattice panels cut to fit between the deck surface and the ground.
Overlooking a steep hillside, this upper-level deck provides an unobstructed view of the lush new garden and Seattle's Puget Sound.
Deck with a Pergola
The towering height of the house and the steep grade of the lot called for a large, elevated deck like this one. Featuring shade from the pergola and privacy from the lattice railing, it provides an outdoor extension for everyday living.
To avoid a heavy appearance, the deck is supported by a minimal number of support beams, leaving the underneath uncluttered and free for other uses. The support posts and railings are wrapped in 1-inch pine to produce a more substantial visual structure. Decorative details, such as arches and plinth blocks at the column bases, provide an architectural sensibility that blends with the home.
Large Elevated Deck
Many newer houses include decks as a standard feature. The raised deck on this custom-built house has access to three different rooms through large glass doors.
Deck with a View
A large raised deck can house several outdoor living areas. This 2,000-square-foot retreat connects a gazebo, kitchen, and spa. Steps lead to various levels, and the elevated gazebo gazes onto a view of birch, blue spruce, and aspen trees, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance.
Soft Deck Lighting
For a harmonious look to your elevated outdoor haven, incorporate soft lighting in your deck plans. This large upper-level balcony is lit with fixtures mounted to the home's exterior. The space provides a bird's-eye view of the surrounding scenery.
Consider using a decking material other than wood for durability and easy maintenance. Woodlike in appearance, this deck is made from fade-resistant synthetic decking. Because it echoes the home's architecture, the structure looks like a natural extension instead of an afterthought.
Make your deck stand apart from your neighbors' with a distinct color scheme. The unique green, red, and white color palette makes this two-story structure stand out. The deck also takes outdoor living to the next level with several distinct zones for relaxation.
Colorful blooms and foliage ease the transition from deck to landscape. This multilevel deck is abloom with fiberglass planters. The structure's graceful curves create the impression of a cascading waterfall.
To make sure your raised deck looks great and fits your lifestyle, take the time to learn basic construction terms and the kinds of materials best suited for building decks. This simple, pretty structure constructed by the homeowners naturally extends from the home and offers additional living space.
A series of outdoor spaces--such as this multilevel patio and upper-level deck--may suit the needs of your family better than a single outdoor room.
Modern Pergola Design
Add a pergola to your raised deck to add shade and style. This sleek design matches the contemporary architecture of the house.
When done well, skirting should go unnoticed so the deck takes center stage. Staining this lattice skirting an earth-tone brown color helps blend it into the shadows underneath the deck.
A spiral staircase such as this one is a graceful and space-saving way to access an upper-level deck.
Upper-level decks must take into account the view from the yard or street. This one uses decorative lattice arches between support posts to incorporate the posts into the overall design.
For an unusual, whimsical outdoor area, incorporate a large existing tree into the raised deck design. This upper-level deck sits amid the treetops and stays shady almost all day. The deck flooring wraps around the tree trunk.