sunny deck

If you have a two-story home, you may not be fully utilizing all the vertical space that this style allows. One of the places that many multi-story homeowners fail to make the most of is their deck. But, designed with height in mind, your deck could add value, enjoyment, and comfort to the backyard. Here are a few ways to do just that.

1. Find the Best Location

How simple or complicated is the question of where to put additional tall decking? The answer depends on your particular home and landscape. For some house plans, you may have only one location where you can put a second-story or mid-story deck. If you have only one possible entrance from the upper floor, if trees or other permanent landscape features block most of the area, or if you already have a deck you can work with, you may be locked into place.

If, on the other hand, you have multiple options, assess what each of them brings to the table. Check out the view from above, perhaps by climbing a ladder or using a window to take photos from that height. Take note of the amount of wind and exposure that a higher location would experience. How far is it between the upper and lower deck areas? Will one location result in higher construction costs than another?

There is no one correct answer to how to decide on a location. Whichever consideration is the most important to you will help you find the right answer in your own situation.

2. Make an Outdoor Use Plan

What do you want to do with the additional deck space that a raised deck will provide? Do you want more space to entertain? Do you want to pair your outdoor kitchen with an outdoor dining area? Do you want a quiet spot to enjoy your yard separate from the kids and the dogs? Or, are you looking to utilize the space under the deck for protected storage?

Give special attention to using the upper and lower decks for uses they are uniquely qualified for. An upper deck should be placed to provide the best view – of the yard landscape, the surrounding land, or the sun rising and setting. You can also use it to create a luxurious second-floor master suite or add gardening space to a small yard. The lower deck is a more protected space and really shines when the weather is either too hot or too cold for traditional outdoor lounging.

3. Ensure a Useful Under-Deck Area

One big hindrance in using a raised deck to its fullest is making it livable and comfortable. Rain runoff may cause it to be water-logged. Drainage issues can leave puddling. It may also be cold and dark if it gets little natural sunlight.

Address these potential problems in advance so that you have a usable area that people will enjoy. Look for a quality membrane and gutter system to shunt rainwater from the upper deck away from the space below the deck. Add plenty of natural drainages – such as French drains, permeable hardscaping, and retaining walls – around the deck to avoid pooling.

Finally, boost natural lighting by taking advantage of sunlight angles, adding clear panels above, or using retractable canopies.

Are you ready to start planning your raised or multi-level deck? By finding the right spot, making a plan that fits your needs, and creating a comfortable area below, you can double your outdoor fun in a flash. At Designer Awnings & Canopies, we’ve been helping homeowners enjoy the great outdoors for more than 30 years. We can help you too. Call or contact us today for an appointment.