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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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Photo of a multi-level deck with distinct areas.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Living: A Guide to Multi-Level Deck Design

Decks are no longer just flat surfaces; they’ve evolved into intricate, elevated designs that offer multiple levels of enjoyment and utility. This guide is your key to understanding how a multi-level or elevated deck design can give your home a Wow factor and increase your functional outdoor living space.

Whether you’re considering adding a new deck or upgrading an existing one, our insights into creative multi-level deck layouts and the best materials for elevated decks will empower you to make informed decisions that suit your lifestyle and outdoor entertaining needs.

Dive into the world of multi-level decks with us and discover how to elevate your outdoor living to new heights.

Photo of an elevated deck sitting atop a multi-tier deck with a pergola, outdoor kitchen, and hot tub.

Multi-level Decks Gain Popularity with Homeowners

Homeowners are increasingly choosing multi-level decks over more traditional deck designs because they offer a unique solution for maximizing outdoor living space without taking up too much yard space. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • They create distinct zones for different kinds of activities
  • Adds visual interest to the home’s exterior
  • Blend seamlessly with sloped yards
  • Designated areas keep the space organized and uncluttered
  • The separation between the upper deck and lower levels adds functionality and value to a home

How Multi-Level Decks Differ from Traditional, Single-Level Decks

Traditional decks are straightforward: a single-level, rectangular platform enclosed by railings. These decks have served families well for decades. However, multi-level decks feature interconnected tiers at differing heights connected by stairs, creating several distinct spaces.

Single-level decks offer a flat, easy-to-furnish space suitable for small yards and tight budgets. In contrast, multi-level decks maximize outdoor living space, especially in yards with slopes.

While single-level decks give off a timeless charm, multi-level decks add architectural interest and depth to the home’s exterior. The varying heights create a visually dynamic space.

Single-tiered decks are more budget-friendly and faster to construct regarding cost and complexity. In comparison, multi-level decks require more support, framing, railings, and stairs, making them more complex and costly.

Accessibility is another factor. Single-level decks allow for easy movement but lack the distinct zones multi-level decks offer. With physical barriers and stairs between levels, careful design is essential to ensure smooth transitions and prevent tripping hazards.

The decision between a traditional single-level deck and a multi-level design lies in factors such as lot layout, budget, and desired functionality of the outdoor space. Choose wisely to create a space that fits your lifestyle and needs.

Benefits of a Multi-Level Deck Design

Before settling on a single-level deck, consider the benefits of multi-level decks.

These decks offer a wonderful solution for increasing the square footage where you and your family can do stuff. It also adds to the functionality of your deck space, which is ideal for homeowners who want separate areas. You might want the upper level for cooking and outdoor dining, while a lower area could be a play area for kids.

A multi-level deck design will benefit property owners dealing with uneven terrain, whether the land is rocky or not. We can create a tiered layout that works with the natural landscape, making them a more practical choice than single-level decks requiring extensive land leveling.

For those who love and desire beautiful things, multi-level decks create visual interest in home exteriors. The varying heights of the levels, combined with features like stairs, railings, and built-in planters, will add depth and significantly improve the appearance of your backyard.

Furthermore, elevated deck levels offer better views of the surrounding landscape, allowing you to enjoy scenic vistas that might be obstructed from a ground-level, single deck. This elevated vantage point can significantly enhance your outdoor experience.

While this will not be the main reason you will choose a multi-level deck, if you have a well-designed one built, it can increase the value of your home. Because this style of deck continues to rise in popularity, it might be an attractive selling feature that showcases the property’s potential and boosts its market appeal.

Not Sure About a Multi-Level Deck? An Elevated Deck Offers Similar Benefits

Like a multi-level deck, an elevated deck is raised from the ground. Both require railings and give a better view of your surroundings.

However, an elevated deck is just a single level. It will benefit those with smaller yards or accessibility and mobility issues.

Depending on its height, an elevated deck opens up an underdeck area that can be used as an outdoor dining area or for additional storage, like lawn equipment.

Photo of an elevated deck with Impression Rail

Multi-Level Deck Design Ideas and Features

When designing a multi-level deck for your outdoor space, consider a few key factors to ensure a functional, safe, and visually appealing layout.

We will start by carefully evaluating your outdoor space, considering its size, shape, and slope. We will then ensure the design for your custom deck creates proper connections and transitions between levels.

To minimize safety risks, our design will comply with all local building codes, including railings, adequate lighting, and non-slip materials. We will check for any setback requirements on your property to avoid issues later.

Consider adding outdoor living features like pergolas, built-in seating, fire pits and fireplace features, outdoor kitchens, or hot tubs to provide greater enjoyment when you use your deck. These touches can add comfort, elegance, and value to your multi-level deck design.

You can integrate lighting along railings, stairs, and pathways for safety and ambiance. Another popular trend is using recessed lighting in deck steps and deck boards. Well-placed lighting can dramatically enhance the deck’s appearance and extend its usability into the evening hours.

Use your multi-level design options to create intimate, secluded spaces or to maximize desirable views. Incorporate privacy screens, trellises, or landscaping to shelter certain areas.

Some homeowners like to add a curved deck design to their multi-level decks. Others use a multi-tiered deck to lead down to a pool deck.

You have the utmost design flexibility. When we review the elements you want to be included in your dream deck plan, choose those things that will bring you joy and leave your mark on the project.

Photo of an Elevated Deck that leads down to a pool deck.

Best Materials for Elevated Decks and Multi-Level Decks

Prioritize durability for a deck that will last. For safety, choose slip-resistant decking with good traction. You also want materials that require minimal maintenance.

For us, that means TimberTech composite materials or TimberTech advanced PVC materials.

TimberTech decking is superior to wood and requires minimal upkeep without sanding, staining, or sealing.  It resists fading, staining, and mold growth.

If sustainability is a priority for you, as it is for all of us at Legacy Decks, TimberTech is your choice. We encourage you to learn more about TimberTech’s and our approach and philosophy of sustainability in the decking industry.

Why Choose Legacy Decks

If you want an exceptional outdoor living experience and impeccable results, choose Legacy Decks, a top-tier deck builder in Upstate South Carolina.

When it comes to designing and constructing your dream elevated or multi-level deck, make Legacy Decks your clear choice. Contact us today for a free in-home estimate.