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Chris Breen

Chris Breen, Principal Owner of Legacy Decks and Outdoor Living and has been serving families in Upstate South Carolina since 2005.

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Deck Design

9 Types Of Deck Designs And Their Pros & Cons

Dreaming of the perfect deck design for your backyard? You’re in the right place! Today, we’ll explore various types of decks, from pool decks to curved decks, weighing their pros and cons. Understanding the unique benefits and potential challenges of different deck designs will guide you to your ideal deck.

Multi-Level Decks

Multi-level decks have multiple platforms connected by steps or stairways, making them an ideal choice for properties with a sloping yard or multi-story homes. 

These decks maximize the usability of your outdoor space, bridging different zones and adapting to challenging terrains. Each level offers a unique view, ensuring there’s never a dull moment when you’re lounging outside.

However, they can be costlier and more complex to build and might pose navigation challenges for kids and older adults, especially when there are many elevation changes.

Pros of multi-level deck designs:

  • Maximizes use of space.
  • Bridges different zones.
  • Adapts to challenging terrains.
  • Offers unique views on each level.

Cons of multi-level deck designs:

  • Pricier and complex to build.
  • Might be difficult for kids and the elderly to navigate.

Wraparound Decks

These decks wrap around at least two sides of the house, offering panoramic views and easy outdoor access. 

Wraparound decks provide ample living space and multiple entry points from inside the house. They’re perfect for homes with great panoramic views, allowing you to chase the sun or shade throughout the day while enjoying the scenery.

While they’re a dream for spacious properties, wraparound decks can feel overwhelming on smaller lots. A wraparound deck can make the area feel cramped when there’s limited space between neighboring properties or when the yard itself is small. Their design is best appreciated when there’s ample space in every direction they stretch to.

Pros of wraparound deck designs:

  • Multiple access points from the house.
  • Ideal for homes with panoramic views.
  • Chase the sun or shade.
  • Large outdoor living area.

Cons of wraparound deck designs:

  • Can feel restrictive in smaller yards.
  • Best suited for larger properties with space to spare.

Second-Story Decks

Second-story decks, also known as two-story decks, are elevated and attached to the second floor of a house.

Two-story deck designs offer unobstructed views of the surroundings. They also add outdoor living space without taking up valuable ground-level yard space.

However, their elevation means they may require sizable stairways to bridge the gap between the ground and the deck, potentially posing accessibility challenges. The height also reduces privacy, as with the height comes the possibility of being in neighbors’ sightlines.

Pros of second-story deck designs:

  • Offers unobstructed views.
  • Adds outdoor living space without using yard space.
  • Can create a dry living area under the deck.

Cons of second-story deck designs:

  • May require sizable stairways for easy access.
  • Neighbors might see what you’re grilling.

Double Decker Decks

Double-decker decks consist of two decks stacked on top of each other, typically attached to a two-story home.

These decks offer multiple outdoor spaces, maximizing your home’s outdoor living area. When equipped with an underdeck drainage system, the second-story deck can also provide shade and rain protection for the lower deck.

Building two levels means a higher budget due to the increased materials, labor, and planning required.

Pros of double-decker designs:

  • Maximizes outdoor living area.
  • Provides shade and rain protection with an underdeck system.
  • Same benefits as second-story decks.

Cons of double-decker designs:

  • Higher budget due to more materials and labor.

Curved Decks

Curved decks deviate from traditional designs, bringing a unique and sophisticated aesthetic with their beautiful curves.

These decks add visual interest and give your outdoor space a high-end feel. They can also enhance views by providing an uninterrupted flow as you walk along the edges.

However, their complexity makes them more expensive and challenging to build, increasing labor costs. They also require special composite decking materials that can be heated and shaped into curves, which may limit your material options. 

Pros of curved deck designs:

  • Visually appealing.
  • Enhances views with an uninterrupted flow.

Cons of curved deck designs:

  • More expensive and challenging to build.
  • Limited material options.

Pool Decks

Pool decks surround your swimming pool, creating a safe and comfortable area for lounging, sunbathing, and poolside entertaining.

Beyond just elevating the visual appeal of your pool area, pool decks significantly boost its utility. They serve as a safety feature, facilitating easy entry and exit from the pool. With ample space, they become the perfect spot for unwinding after a swim. 

When it comes to deck designs with pools, the choice of material is crucial. Due to their constant exposure to moisture, pool decks often have a reduced lifespan compared to other deck types. For that reason, it’s advisable to choose composite decking to ensure longevity.

Pros of pool deck designs:

  • Enhances pool accessibility.
  • Controlled access with gates.
  • Slip-resistant surface when using composite decking.

Cons of pool deck designs:

  • Reduced lifespan due to constant moisture exposure.

Covered Decks

Featuring a roof or patio cover, covered decks protect your outdoor space from the elements, ensuring you can enjoy the outdoors anytime.

These decks offer a comfortable living area regardless of the weather, providing shade, reducing heat, and protecting your furniture from damage. 

And should it rain? There is no need to stop the party, as the solid roof ensures the fun continues uninterrupted.

It’s worth noting that adding a roof structure significantly adds to the costs of your deck. Also, the shade provided may limit the natural light entering adjacent indoor spaces.

Pros of covered deck designs:

  • Provides shade and protection from rain.
  • Extends the lifespan of your deck and furniture.
  • Ensures outdoor activities continue even in rain.

Cons of covered deck designs:

  • Additional cost for the roof structure.
  • Potential reduction in natural light for adjacent indoor areas.

Enclosed Decks

Enclosed decks, like sunrooms or screened porches, feature walls or screens that offer protection from bugs and weather.

These decks provide an outdoor space with indoor comforts, ensuring you can enjoy the outdoors without any inconveniences, leading to more time spent outside.

While the idea of an enclosed deck might suggest limited views and airflow, advancements in enclosure systems have significantly reduced these limitations. Modern screens and porch windows prioritize clear, unobstructed views and enhanced airflow control.

Pros of enclosed deck designs:

  • Protection from bugs and weather.
  • Offers indoor comforts outdoors.
  • Control over the temperature and breeze.
  • And much, much more.

Cons of enclosed deck designs:

  • Screens or windows can somewhat limit views and airflow.

Ground Level Decks

Ground-level decks sit close to the ground and are built no higher than 30 inches above the ground.

One of the primary advantages of ground-level decks is their simplicity in design and construction. They often require fewer materials and are more affordable to build than elevated decks. Their low elevation eliminates the need for railings and, in some cases, even steps. 

On the flip side, being close to the ground means these decks are more susceptible to moisture, which can lead to quicker wear and tear. Additionally, they might not offer the same expansive views as elevated decks and can be more prone to collecting leaves and debris.

Pros of ground-level deck designs:

  • Affordable.
  • Railings are not required.
  • Blends in with the landscape.

Cons of ground-level deck designs:

  • More susceptible to damage from moisture.
  • Might not offer unobstructed views.
  • Prone to collecting leaves and debris.

The Right Deck Design Makes a Huge Difference!

Choosing the perfect deck design for your backyard can be a game-changer. As you’ve seen, there are numerous deck styles and deck layout ideas to consider, each offering its unique charm and advantages.

As you compare different ideas for deck designs, the key is to envision how you’ll use the deck in your daily life. Additionally, your backyard’s size, shape, and landscape should be an important factor in your decision.

Do you live in Greenville? If you’re ready to transform your yard with one of these deck designs, Legacy Decks is here to help. Call now or Request your free estimate today to get started!