You hear it over and over and over again… it’s all in the details.

From the outfit you’re wearing or a presentation for work to the interior design of your home — minutiae matters.

And how about a backyard deck?  Well, the fine points matter here too.

Starting with the overall design and materials, down to the screws and fasteners, there are plenty of obvious and hidden details when it comes to deck planning and construction.

Elevated Deck with Pergola, Chesterfield Mo by Archadeck of West County in St. Louis

Elevated Deck with Pergola, Chesterfield Mo by Archadeck of West County in St. Louis

Gosh, where-in-the-world should you begin?  Well, start by determining the type of deck that best suits your property and then think beyond-the-basics for:

  • what’s on it
  • what’s around it
  • what’s under it and
  • what’s over it.

Pretty simple right?  Let’s look a little closer at the possibilities.

What type of DECK design?

Your specific deck category is largely dictated by your existing house and the layout of your land.  For example, if you have a ranch-style home with a flat lot, a low-to-the-ground deck is presumable.  If however you have single or two-story architecture and a sloping lot, then consider a tiered deck that flows with the natural landscape.

Ground Level Composite Deck by Archadeck

Ground Level Composite Deck by Archadeck

Multilevel Wood Deck by Archadeck

Multilevel Wood Deck by Archadeck

But what about a flat or sloping lot AND your house is more than one story AND you have a walk-out basement?  Well then, an elevated or a two-story deck becomes your best option.

Large Elevated Deck Over Walk Out Lower Level, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Large Elevated Deck Over Walk Out Lower Level, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Check-out our article, The Five Most Popular Deck Designs Explained, for the full scoop and yes, the details!

What type of FLOOR BOARD design?

Once you determine a blueprint that best suits your needs, you’ll pick out decking materials and then decide how those materials will be used to build your deck floor.

Composite Deck Floor Board, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Composite Deck Floor Board, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Options include woods like pine, cedar and hardwoods or man-made products like composite, capped composite and vinyl.  And each of those materials might influence just how you determine your deck floor design.

For example, man-made decking products are available in a variety of colors so you might opt to use more than one.  Or if you’re using wood, have your contractor build a customized pattern using the boards.

Wood Deck with Floor Board Pattern by Archadeck

Wood Deck with Floor Board Pattern by Archadeck

Synthetic Decking with Color Changes for Trim and Border by Archadeck

Synthetic Decking with Color Changes for Trim and Border by Archadeck

Curious about the possibilities?  Check-out Deck Design Ideas:  Floor Board Patterns for all of the nuances.

What type of RAIL design?

Rails play a significant role in the look of your deck and are a framework for both safety and style.  Select a color, select a material and then express your personality with pickets, post caps, and planters.  Railing is an ideal way to incorporate a ledge or lights too.

Deck with Flat Drink Rail Cap by Archadeck

Deck with Flat Drink Rail Cap by Archadeck

As a rule of thumb though, stay consistent with the exterior of your home, in both color and style.  Coordinate and blend the railings’ appearance with your siding or brick, trim, gutters, shutters or other outdoor spaces.  Rails, done right, will tie-it-all-together.

Deck with White Railing by Archadeck

Deck with White Railing by Archadeck

Check-out our article, Deck Railing Ideas:  How To Choose The Best Rail Design For Your Deck for, yep you guessed it, MORE details.

Or visit our Railing ideas board on Pinterest.

What type of UNDER deck design?

Building-out the space under your deck depends on your overall project plan.  If the deck is low to the ground, a little landscaping will suffice.  Skirting, along with landscaping, is an option if your deck is slighting raised.

But what about a higher elevation deck?  Most folks want to put the space under a deck to good use as an enclosed storage area, as a screened-in porch or as an open porch.

Deck with Enclosed Under Deck Storage by Archadeck

Deck with Enclosed Under Deck Storage by Archadeck

For more on the topic, read, The Space Under Your Deck:  Disguise it, hide it, or better yet, use it!

And visit our Under deck ideas board on Pinterest for oodles of inspiration.

What type of OVER deck design?

And finally, what do you want over your deck?  Nothing at all?  A partial cover? A full cover?  A slatted pergola?  A solid roof, and if so, what type of roof?  Gazebo? Shed? Hip? Gable?

Deck with Partial Pergola, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Deck with Partial Pergola, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Covered Deck with Vaulted Roof and Exposed Rafters, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Covered Deck with Vaulted Roof and Exposed Rafters, St. Louis Mo, by Archadeck

Read our article, How To Add Backyard Shade which ‘covers’ it all! (pun intended)

And two other Pinterest boards are chock full of information too… Pergola ideas and Backyard shade ideas. 

Next Steps?

To discover and explore more ideas about decks and other outdoor spaces, just visit our website, west-county.archadeck.com.   You’ll have access to photo galleries, an online inquiry form, videos and a free download for Archadeck’s design guide. 

Archadeck's Free Design Guide, Cover Graphic by Matthew Victor, St. Louis Mo

Archadeck’s Free Design Guide, Cover Graphic by Matthew Victor, St. Louis Mo

If you live in St. Louis Missouri (or nearby areas) and want to speak with a designer/builder/contractor, please consider Archadeck.  Our offices are conveniently located in St. Louis West County and best of all, we’re locally owned and operated.  We live here, we work here and we know St. Louis!

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

We’d love to answer your questions and meet with you, anytime –636.227.0800

Do you live outside of St. Louis?  Then just go to archadeck.com to find a location near your hometown.

Sources

St. Louis decks, screened porches and pergolas by Archadeck, Archadecks of Piedmont Triad NC, West Central and Southwest OH, Foothills in CO, Hennepin County MN, Chicago IL, Fort Wayne IN

Design Guide Cover by Matthew Victor, Intern for Archadeck of West County. Contact Matt by email at mtvictor00@gmail.com.  Matt has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems Management from the University of Missouri–St. Louis and is currently completing a second degree in Graphic Design.

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