Building a unique and functional deck gives you the opportunity to neatly link together your home and the surrounding landscape. While many homeowners prefer the standard wooden deck that has been built for decades, utilizing unusual and unexpected design elements can really enhance the appearance and functionality of your outdoor space. It may be helpful to employ and collaborate with an architect or professional landscape team, but also consider these three unique deck designs in your home project.
The Wraparound Deck
The traditional outdoor deck sits on a slab behind the house, generally just off a sliding glass door leading into the backyard. Rather than follow this typical deck arrangement, consider building a raised wraparound deck.
Begin the construction behind the house, as usual, but raise the deck off the ground to fit under the upper windows of the home. The backyard deck area will still be functional for social gatherings and barbecues. Next, extend the deck around the sides of the home, wrapping the structure around the corners until the deck meets the front door. Here is where the deck will end. Try building a pergola around the front door to visually link the two arms of the deck and complete the home’s transformation.
This structure will work especially well on a two-story or raised ranch home, but other houses may fit the template as well. The wraparound deck can be painted or stained in a variety of colors to complement an existing home’s exterior. With careful construction, this budget-friendly home improvement project can completely transform the outer appearance of a house while creating additional living space around the home.
The Tiered Deck
Ideal for small spaces or small backyards, the tiered deck design can make the most out of less area. Strive for thoughtful design by beginning with a plan to create multiple areas on your new deck. For example, a tiered deck can be divided easily into separate spaces for eating, conversing, and generally relaxing.
Begin with a low layer for an arrangement of comfortable lawn furniture. This can be an area for friendly conversation and relaxation. Add a second flooring layer on top of this one, approximately eight inches higher and staggered to one side, and you have created another location for a small outdoor table. Attach a final layer on the very top, and you can have your own private space for a hot tub or other relaxing feature. Each layer does not have to cover a lot of area, but the effect creates an interesting and unusual outdoor living space.
This layered design can completely transform a sloped backyard. Build your deck in layers as it scales up your backyard, creating a new locale in each step. Add a creative touch to each tier by making the edges curved rather than traditionally boxy. The curved lines will add visual interest while maximizing the available space.
The Island Deck
Consider the island deck, a backyard structure completely unattached to your home. Unlike the traditional idea of a backyard deck, the island is typically created as an entertainment oasis in your outdoor space. These decks frequently include a special feature, such as a hot tub, small pool, or umbrella lawn table.
When constructing your island deck, think of it as an independent outdoor space far from the comforts of your home. In this instance, consider creating built-in benches and hidden storage to contain all your deck necessities. Construct moveable floorboards that can be lifted to reveal under-deck storage. You can store hot tub equipment, extra snack bowls, or outdoor lighting in these convenient panels.
This type of deck is most effective in larger backyards that have the open area available to host an independent island. Keep this in mind as you consider your own backyard. If you have a small to moderately sized yard, it may be in your best interest to fully utilize your green space and construct a more attached piece.