Choosing the Right Type of Deck

So you have decided to add beauty and functionality to your home by adding a deck. Wonderful choice. With all of the different types and designs available, having an understanding of them can make your decision a lot easier.

Ground-level Decks

This the most common form of deck. As the name implies, these decks are built on the ground and are normally up to a height of four to five feet. Unless a pit is dug to hold the joists and supporting foundation, the lowest deck would be approximately one foot off the ground. If the wood lies directly on the ground without a supporting foundation, it is a patio.

High-rise Decks

High-rise decks are usually built in response to site conditions such as access to an upper-level doorway or the desire to catch a certain view of the surrounding area. These decks superior structures when exposure to the sun and breeze are important. The height of this type of deck makes necessary the proper sizing of the supporting columns and bracing, which is an extremely important factor for stability and safety.

Multilevel Decks

A multilevel deck offers a unique response to the solution of many problems at the same time. It can allow for varied usage based on the criteria for sun/shade, privacy, and breeze. When used for a party or other entertainment, a multilevel deck will let more intimate groupings of people to gather and form.This type of deck is often extremely attractive and enhances the appearance of a home significantly.

Load-bearing Decks

As the name implies, a load-bearing deck must support an unusual amount of weight. In other words, more than the normal backyard variety deck. These structures are normally built to solve such problems as how to house a motor vehicle in a carport built over a hillside. When the cost of excavation to level an area is prohibitive, this type of deck might be the only economical solution to the problem. The materials used in this deck and supporting columns and foundations are substantially stronger than the average backyard deck. It is advisable to seek the advice of a professional if this is the kind of deck you need to construct.

Rooftop Decks

If your yard condition is crowded, a rooftop deck might be the one for you. Many houses are built with the upper windows that could be converted into doors. Perhaps you have an attic that could be transformed into a family room. A rooftop deck is a natural extension for this type of environment. This type of deck plays on the house's existing foundation. Stability concerns are usually not a major factor in building this deck. Roofs can be either flat or sloped. It is easier to construct a deck on a nearly level roof. A sloped deck requires additional supports to achieve a level condition, whereas a nearly level roof deck can be leveled with simple blocking. A prime concern in building a rooftop deck is avoiding damage to the roof and not impeding the run-off of water when it rains. For sloped roofs, your deck structure will make it impossible to replace the roof in years to come. It is advisable to replace the roof before adding the deck. Be certain that the supports or fasteners for your deck do not pierce nor wear away the roofing to cause leaks.