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Taking Outdoor Living to New Heights

You’ve built the home of your dreams and now you want to get out of it. Not entirely, mind you, but just far enough outside of it to enjoy the fresh air while drinking your morning coffee or sipping an evening cocktail.

Elevated Deck Advantages

That calls for outdoor space, often in the form of elevated decks designed to fit in with the terrain and the style of the home. Structures built on hillsides or on smaller lots may require decks six or more feet off the ground to allow for first-floor access to the home, provide storage space or address other considerations.

As such, elevated decks could be adjacent to a kitchen, bedroom or the main living area depending on the style of the home. That ultimately will help drive decision making on the size and layout of the deck. It will also be a factor in choosing furnishings and accessories – perhaps a hot tub next to a bedroom, a nook for the grill and flower boxes hanging off the railings next to the kitchen or an awning to block the sun and thereby extend the living room when entertaining.

Things to Consider

One consideration sometimes neglected by homeowners is that the outdoor lights and elevated decks mean seeing and being seen. Being perched 12 of 15 feet above the home’s foundation means that you’ll see over the neighbors’ privacy fence on the property line. By the same token, they’ll be able to see you as you’re grilling dinner or entertaining friends. For less extreme heights, two-way privacy could be as simple as planting trees near the property line and letting Mother Nature take it from there over the next few years.

Also, staircases to the yard are often just an afterthought – which could be a mistake. High decks mean long climbs, so splitting that ascent into two smaller staircases broken up by a landing is safer, more compact and visually appealing.

Whatever your decisions, building that deck is like adding a spacious new room and helping make that house feel more like a home.