How to Design a Double Deck

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Double decks can be one of two things--a two-tiered porch with the same access point or two decks one on top of the other. Decks are very useful for many purposes including family get-togethers, unwinding at the end of a long day or week, having a dry place to go outside when it is raining or having a cool spot in the shade to sit while the kids run around off of the deck. There are several things to take into consideration when designing your double deck.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Eraser
  • Ruler or other straight edge
  • Draw out the general shape of your double deck that you want. This can be just one floor of a stacked double deck, or the entire tiered deck, with notations at the level change. The stacked double deck is one deck on top of another, like a bunk bed. The tiered deck ranges in levels by making one section 1 to 4 feet higher than the base level and connecting them with steps or a ramp. When building a stacked double deck, the top deck will be in the same shape as the bottom deck, so you only need to draw one of the decks to know what the other will look like. With tiered decks, the lower section may not look like the upper section, so the entire deck will need to be drawn out. For example, the lower deck could be rectangle shaped, while the higher deck could be in a circular shape.

  • Measure your back or front yard to see how much room you have to build your deck. Remember to take into account that you will have to have a ramp or steps to get down from your deck unless a part of it is sitting directly on the ground. So you may not be able to make your deck the entire width you have available to make room for the access point.

  • Decide whether or not you want railings or columns in your deck. If you do, draw them in. You can draw them by making a line that is parallel to the edges of the deck that will have railings, then draw lines connecting the parallel lines together. Railings need to be used on decks higher than 2 feet up to provide safety for those who will be spending time on the deck. Columns can be used to support stacked decks, or connect a tiered deck to the roof of the house, although its rarely seen. Columns can be drawn in by adding two parallel lines from the bottom of the top deck to the bottom of the bottom deck, and if needed, from the roof to the bottom of the top deck.

  • Add any special aesthetics or details to your design.There are several kinds of materials you can use to build your deck such as metal, wood, or vinyl. This is a type of detail that you should decide on before making up official blue prints or calculating your materials. There are also decorations that you can use in your deck such as hand carved columns or railings and tiles for pieces of the deck.

  • Hire a contractor to make up blue prints and build your double deck. Do this by calling several contracting companies and explain to them the basics of what you want, such as "I only want blue prints made up for a stacked double deck made out of metal and vinyl," or "I would like blueprints drawn up for my deck which will be two-tiered and made from wood. I would also like for the contractor to build this deck for me." Ask each contractor that you call to quote you on a price. Depending on your needs, the price for each contractor will vary, it can go from $100 or more just for blue prints and time you spend explaining what you want, to several thousands of dollars for them to make blueprints and build the deck for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • The drawn figure does not have to have the exact dimensions drawn out, just make sure you make a note of the pieces actual dimensions.

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References

  • Photo Credit deck image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com
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