What type of deck is right for my family and my home? We at Zenna Decks often hear this question and we love to answer it because the decks we create are as unique as our customers.
Structurally, outdoor decks are usually made from modern composite decking or traditional wood and are a place for outdoor entertaining and living. Decks share some of the same characteristics with patios, however, unlike patios, decks are raised above the ground.
Outdoor decks usually include areas for tables and seating and general gatherings. Some decks also include overhead structures that protect people from sun and rain. They can also include gas fire pits, built-in benches and planters, screening walls, and other accessories.
There are several different types of decks you need to consider before planning one for your home. Many designs are attached to the house and integrated with its flow, but others may stand alone in the yard, surround a pool, or even feature multiple levels.
The most common type of outdoor deck is one that is connected to the house. Attached decks are usually created as an extension of an existing room (living room, kitchen, or dining room) and are accessed by doors that connect the indoor and outdoor spaces.
Attached decks are a large category that includes simple ground-level platforms all the way up to multi-level structures complete with their own stairways, enclosed spaces, and landings. What all attached decks share is a ledger board that is firmly anchored to the home’s framing. This results in an outdoor deck that is very solid and strong, but it also means that they are subject to building code requirements since they are seen as structural additions to the home.
When elevated above the ground, these decks must be supported by posts and footings according to building code requirements and will need construction permits and inspections by your town.
Wraparound decks are usually a slightly elevated deck structure that wraps around two or more sides of the home to connect various areas and is attached to the home’s structure. These decks are sometimes covered by roofing (called wraparound porches) and feature railings in addition to openings for steps.
Depending on the budget and the available space around a home, a wraparound deck can be large and spacious or narrow and small. If the deck is covered, expenses will be higher in order to add new roofing and to reroute your gutter system.
The flow and connectivity of a well-designed wraparound deck can really transform a home.
Multi-level decks are a series of several separate decks on individual levels that are connected by stairways. Multi-level decks are often built for homes that sit on hills or slopes and sites that cannot accommodate any outdoor living spaces except by constructing a series of decks offset at different heights. Creating a multi-level deck is technically easier and less expensive than leveling the land or building it up to build a patio.
Please note that multi-level decks are more expensive than standard square or rectangular decks because of the additional materials and labor they require to construct.
Detached Island (Platform) Deck
Structurally, detached decks are the opposite of an attached deck. Rather than being attached to the home, a detached deck is designed as a freestanding feature in the yard, which is often linked to the house via a pathway. Sometimes called “floating decks” or “platform decks,” these structures can often be built without the elaborate footing-post-beam structure required by an attached deck.
On level building sites, detached island decks can rest on concrete blocks or simply on the ground itself. If the building site is not flat and level, they can be constructed with traditional footings and short posts that support beams and structural members.
Swimming Pool Deck
Adding a deck to a pool can be a great choice because it’s slip-resistant and doesn’t get as hot as patio materials like concrete, pavers or stone. Wood or composite decking is also a simple way to make an above-ground pool more easily accessible to a family and guests. Adding a swimming pool creates space for swimmers to sit and relax by the pool and also delivers a place for parents to watch their swimming children.
Since real wood can split and wear, it needs to be maintained with a deck sealant regularly so that swimmers don’t get splinters in their feet. Although composite decking is more expensive than wood, it can be heat resistant and offers the benefits of being resistant to rot and offers long-life durability, splinter prevention, and easy maintenance and cleanup.
Structurally, a pool-side deck is often constructed so it simply rests on the existing concrete apron around the pool. But decks are sometimes constructed around above-ground pools and can even be an attached deck that extends out from the house to surround the pool. You can also connect or add a hot tub or jacuzzi into a swimming pool deck.
Adding an entryway deck to the entrance of a home is a great way to create a welcoming entrance while also delivering a space for visiting guests or to just enjoy a nice evening with neighbors.
An entryway deck can be similar to a front porch but without the full enclosure. Or, it can be designed as a series of steps and platforms that add to your home’s architecture. This type of deck also sometimes has built-in benches or planter boxes, and each element can be made of wood or durable and attractive decking composite materials.
Dedicated-use decks are designed for a specific purpose for instances outdoor cooking and dining areas. When attached to the home, these decks serve as an extension of the kitchen or dining room and can include built-in cooking surfaces, refrigerators and bars, food-prep space, and a dining seating.
This type of deck can be as simple or elaborate as your budget, space, and imagination allow. It’s best to cover the deck to keep your outdoor appliances and seating areas safe from changing weather. Because dining decks are usually expected to last for many years, composite decking materials are often best for long lasting enjoyment.
Other types of dedicated-use decks include those for watching TV or other entertainment options.
Regardless of what kind of deck you want to build, you need to speak to the experts Zenna Decks. We will create the deck of your dreams!