4 Common Types of Decks for Your Home

Posted on: 18 June 2015

If you're looking to add a deck to your backyard, you have several choices based on your design aesthetic, decking material and budget. To help you decide which type of decking best matches your needs, here are the most popular offerings in the market.

Platform Decks—Platform decks are decks that are built flush against the ground. They can still feature steps, but the idea is that no portion of a platform deck is elevated or raised on posts. Platform decks are the most common and affordable type of deck, because in most cases, you don't need to build a railing for safety.

The underlayer of platform decks need to be weather treated and sealed because they are in constant contact with the ground and are more susceptible to degradation than elevated or raised decks. Standard platform decks are made from pressure-treated wood, which is rot resistant and extremely durable.

Elevated Decks—If you own a home that has a first floor that is elevated, your best option is an elevated deck, which is built off the ground, and supported by posts. For additional safety, nearly all elevated decks feature safety railings and steps that provide comfortable access from the deck to the yard. The posts used to construct elevated decks are set into concrete for maximum anchoring. If you know you will be making upgrades to your decks, your contractor will increase the number of posts in order to accommodate future weight considerations.

Two-Storey Decks—Two-storey decks are built for houses with two floors, with the upper deck usable as an enclosed balcony for entertaining or casual relaxation. Two-storey decks are difficult to construct because of the number of posts and bracings required to ensure that the upper deck is stable. Although wooden posts are the standard anchoring fixture, you can also use stone, brick or steel pillars to construct a two-storey deck to ensure that there is enough strength to support the upper deck.

Multilevel Decks—Multilevel decks are a combination of a platform deck and an elevated deck. Some multilevel decks are connected by steps, but most are accessible simply by stepping from the lower deck to the elevated deck.

Multilevel decks offer you more design options, because you can make the elevated deck bigger or smaller depending on the available space, or you can even make one deck circular and the other rectangular for a more interesting design scheme. Many homeowners like to make the lower deck bigger for entertaining, and save the elevated deck for items such as barbecues or fire pits.

Learn more about these options by contacting local deck builders.