In our recent post, The 5 Most Popular Deck Designed Explained, we reviewed five design categories — platform, raised, multi-level, two story and screened-in decks.  Today, let’s look more closely at the platform deck.

Wooden Platform Decks by Archadeck

Wooden Platform Decks by Archadeck

What exactly is a platform deck?

Well, a platform deck is a rather simple structure that’s designed and built just a few inches off the ground.  It is also referred to as a grade-level, ground-level, or low-level deck; patio deck or floating deck.  Whichever label you use, the hallmark of this design is a deck that’s raised, ever-so-slightly, creating a structure to bridge-the-gap between your home and your backyard.

Low-to-Grade Hardwood Deck with a Level Change by  Archadeck

Low-to-Grade Hardwood Deck with a Level Change by Archadeck

As either a detached or attached structure to your home, this deck — though less complicated structurally when compared to an elevated deck — is ideal for customization.  And here are five easy tips for a fabulous platform deck.

Decking materials

‘Anything-goes’ when it comes to decking materials for a platform deck.  From economical pressure treated lumber to high-end hardwood, state-of-the-art composite or synthetics, the material you select should line-up with your personal style, the time/cost needed for upkeep and a budget that jives with your pocket-book too.

Low Maintenance Platform Deck by Archadeck

Low Maintenance Platform Deck by Archadeck

When deciding on materials, finalize your design first and then it’s easier to accurately cost compare products.

Railing options

Depending on your local building codes, the deck may or may not require rails.  Platform decks are often built without rails; however, for a big-bonus of style and safety, consider partial or decorative rails.

Check with a contractor or investigate your local safety ordinances to learn what’s permissible, rail-wise.  And don’t forget to speak with your Home Owners Association too.

Grade Level Deck Without Rails by Archadeck

Grade Level Deck Without Rails by Archadeck

Built-in benches and planters

More often than not, if a platform deck fits your needs a built-in bench/planter — or two or three — fits well with the design.  These features are a space-smart way to maximize the use of your outdoor space and in the absence of railing, define the deck perimeter.

Platform Deck with Benches, Planters and Partial Rails by Archadeck

Platform Deck with Benches, Planters and Partial Rails by Archadeck

 

Shade and privacy

From beautiful-but-basic to stunningly-ornate, you can add shade and privacy to any deck design, including a platform deck.  And since this type of outdoor space sits low-to-the-ground, a privacy feature in particular is desirable whenever neighboring homes are close-by.

Low Level Deck in St. Louis with Shade Pergola by Archadeck

Low Level Deck in St. Louis with Shade Pergola by Archadeck

Decorative Privacy  Screen for Low Level Deck by Archadeck

Decorative Privacy Screen for Low Level Deck by Archadeck

Other design features

Amenities.  Don’t forget the amenities — large or small.

You can add plenty of warmth and sizzle to your platform deck with an outdoor cooking feature, fire feature, hot tub or bar.

Platform Deck with Outdoor Cooking Feature by Archadeck

Platform Deck with Outdoor Cooking Feature by Archadeck

Or instead, relax and cool-down with weather-proof fans, misters, or better yet, how about a deck with a pool?

Poolside Platform Deck by Archadeck

Poolside Platform Deck by Archadeck

Oh, and don’t forget lighting!  Night-time outdoor living is delightful for a party of one, two or twenty.

Low Level Deck with Level Change  and Lighting by Archadeck

Low Level Deck with Level Change and Lighting by Archadeck

Key Takeaways

  • Low-to-the-ground is the primary characteristic of a platform deck.
  • Construction-wise, these decks can be kept pretty basic or can be taken to an ‘elaborate’ level.
  • Customize the project any-which-way-you-want including a mix of materials, rails (or not), and extras such as shade, privacy, built-ins, lights and other amenities.
  • Sneak-in a subtle deck level-change or a curved design for real pizzazz.
  • Keep it simple and DIY or contact an experienced contractor for ‘the-sky’s-the-limit’ project!

Next Steps

For more deck design ideas just visit our website, west-county.archadeck.com.  There you’ll find photo galleries, online inquiry form, free download for Archadeck’s design guide and video.  From the homepage you can click on our social media links to join us on Pinterest, Google+ and Houzz.

Looking for a St. Louis contractor for a deck or other outdoor living space?  If so, please consider Archadeck.  Our offices are in St. Louis West County and we’re locally owned and operated.  Call anytime – 636-227-0800.

Not familiar with Archadeck?  Check out our About Us page here on the blog!

Platform Spa Deck in Greater St. Louis Mo by Archadeck

Platform Spa Deck in Greater St. Louis Mo by Archadeck

If you do not live in St. Louis, simply visit archadeck.com or call 888-687-3325 for Archadeck owners/operators in your neck of the woods.

Custom Platform Decks by Archadeck

Custom Platform Decks by Archadeck

(Archadeck of West County and St. Charles County serves the Greater St. Louis region including all areas of St. Louis County, St. Charles, St. Charles County and parts of Illinois too.)

Other Sources

Forbes, Better Homes and Gardens, Mr. Pavement, Professional Deck Builder, Archadeck Outdoor Living, Archadeck of Coastal Connecticut, Chester County PA, Central Iowa, Nova Scotia, Austin TX, Miami FL

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