When building an elevated deck you have to consider many obstacles that do not factor into ground-level deck construction, such as added structural support, possible adjustments to elevated sections of your home and extra protection against storms and other meteorological dangers. Constructing a deck high above the ground allows you to see birds' nests, different parts of trees and other elements you would not have noticed before. Creating more distance between you and the ground may also help to wash away some of the stresses that wait for you back on terra firma.
Use multiple levels to connect your elevated deck to the ground below. According to luxuryhousingtrends.com, a multi-level deck will offer your guests more space if you plan to entertain, and it will break up the descent toward the yard. Multi-level decks are appropriate for houses built next to sloping terrain, according to home improvement expert Bob Vila. The defined, varied layers will create a natural movement and will bring the ground and the top layers of the house together. Since multi-level decks involve more material and more planning, the costs will rise, but the additional space taken up by deck will create less lawn maintenance and landscaping.
A Deck in the Trees
If you want to build an elevated deck but don't like the idea of cutting down the trees in your yard, build around the trees, literally incorporating nature into your design. Patios often interfere with the root systems of trees, but raised decks allow the enveloped trees to breathe and expand as long as the opening in the deck is large enough to encourage continued growth. In addition to building a hole through which the tree can sprout, you might also want to consider building octagonal or circular benches around the tree to create an intimate setting for reading or hanging out with family and friends. Finally, make sure you know the characteristics of the tree sprouting up through your deck. If you underestimate the growth rate and potential size of a tree, your hole may be too small in the long run.
Elevated Deck Connectors
If you want to build not just an elevated deck, but a complete elevated experience, think about building a boardwalk that connects your deck to other parts of your house. Seattle designer-builder Rick Milligan, faced with the task of linking a main house to a rooftop deck on a detached garage, incorporated a raised boardwalk to link the front door of the house to the rooftop deck.
Make sure the boardwalk is strongly secured on all sides and, if possible, attach the boardwalk to existing structures along the route. If your proposed boardwalk runs across an area with occasional interfering foot traffic, incorporate a drawbridge into the design.
- Photo Credit Deck de madeira image by CarlosNeto from Fotolia.com
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