9 Outdoor Deck Designs, Types and Locations

  • 01 of 11

    Types of Decks to Build for Any Space on Your Property

    Wood deck near swimming pool
    Wood deck surrounding swimming pool. Getty Images

    You want to build a deck (not  a patio) from wood or composite decking materials. Next comes a deck type or design, which will be determined by where the deck will be located in relation to your house.

    If your lot is large, your biggest decision will be where to place the deck. If the property is smaller, the yard is on a slope, or presents other challenges, you'll need to get creative. Consider locating a deck:

    • On a seldom- or unused driveway
    • Over a garage
    • In an unused side yard
    • Nestled against...MORE a hill or on a slope
    • In the front yard as an enclosed courtyard deck

    Ready? Let's find a type of deck and the best place upon which to build it.

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Attached Deck

    venbenchdeck.jpg
    Modern bench on deck. © Lisa Hallett Taylor

    An attached deck is much like a patio, except that it is made of wood or wood composite decking materials, and is slightly raised. A common place to attach a deck is at the back of an L-shaped or U-shaped house.

    Visualize it: a deck can serve as a bridge connecting exterior doors of both inside parts of the L-shaped house. The deck also provides additional living space -- outdoor living space. A roof or overhead would offer shade, making the deck even more usable and part of the home's...MORE livable space.

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Detached or Island Deck

    GettyImages-87986118.jpg
    Getty Images

    The opposite of an attached deck, a detached deck can be positioned anywhere on a property, but still should be easily accessible via a path or steps. It stands alone, like an island. Unlike a concrete patio, which has to be set on a smooth, even surface, a detached deck is much more adaptable and forgiving of areas with poor drainage or bumpy, rocky or uneven terrain because it can be built above whatever is going on below.

    Peninsula-style deck is also a type of detached deck -- it connects a...MORE house, patio or other deck area to a detached deck via a wood or composite decking walkway.

    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Wraparound Deck

    picture of wraparound deck
    Photo by Patti

    Kind of like an old-fashioned wraparound porch, only parts of it can be larger, more uneven, and room-like than a porch. A wraparound deck is slightly elevated. In Japan, and is called an engawa.

    Pros of wraparound decks:

    • Let you follow the sun or shade -- whichever you desire
    • Extend the living space of your house
    • Assist with air circulation throughout the house when access doors are open
    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Multi-Level Deck

    multilevel wood deck mississippi
    Photo &copy Patricia McCarthy

    A multilevel deck is the answer for a large property, or one that changes in elevation. Multilevels are a series of decks on different levels, often connected by steps or paths.

    The terrain often dictates the need for a multilevel deck: hills, slopes and rocky landscaping may not be able to accommodate anything other than a raised wooden deck. In other words: It would be lots of work and expense to pour a concrete patio when you could just build a deck over a slop or rocky area of your yard....MORE Makes sense, right?

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11

    Side-Yard Deck

    Side Deck
    Side yard deck with bamboo. © Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Side yards are often the forgotten space or embarrassment of the yard. If you aren't using the space for a dog run and only use it as a pathway from the front yard to the back, why not stake a claim and turn that area into usable space?

    A private deck for lounging, or decking coming off a dining room, kitchen or bedroom into the side yard uses the space efficiently. It can also provide a secluded, peaceful getaway without leaving home. How about a small deck with a hot tub right outside your...MORE exterior bedroom door? Add a privacy screencontainer plants, music...get the picture?

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11

    Swimming Pool Deck

    Wood pool deck
    Wood deck overlooking swimming pool. Getty Images

    Decking is a smart choice around a pool, because it's slip resistant and won't scorch swimmers' feet, like stone or concrete can. The warmth of wood decking makes it a natural surround for a koi pond or pool. Since real wood can split and splinter, it will need to be maintained with a deck finishing product regularly so that swimmers don't get splinters in their feet.

    Wood or composite decking is one of the simplest ways to make an above-ground pool more easily accessible. A deck...MORE surround also brings more space for swimmers who want to lounge by the pool at pool level, and makes it possible for adults to keep a poolside watch on swimming children. 

    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    Entryway Deck

    platform-style decks for entryway

    An entryway deck is like a front porch, but not completely covered overhead. The decking composite or wood steps and platforms are part of the total architectural design, sometimes with built-in benches or planter boxes.

    Materials, shape and design complement the architecture of the house, making deck and home look like they were built at the same time, by the same builder, and not as an awkward, added-on afterthought.

    Wood entryway decks can be as simple as a few connected platforms leading up to...MORE the front door (pictured), to a front courtyard deck area that is basically an outdoor room one enters before stepping foot inside the actual house.

    • What is an Entryway Patio?
    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Deck for Outdoor Dining

    DiningDeck
    Hardwood dining table on outdoor deck. Getty Images

    An extension of the kitchen or dining room, the dining deck might include a grill, counter, bar, food-prep space and an outdoor dining table. This type of deck can be as simple or elaborate as your budget, space, and imagination allows.

    Even if you plan on building a completely equipped outdoor kitchen, it's still a smart idea to locate it near your indoor kitchen. When planning an outdoor dining or kitchen deck, consider:

    • For safety reasons, where to locate the grill in relation to the house...MORE and roof (city codes usually specify).
    • A sink for easy cleanup.
    • Where the outdoor dining set will be located.
    • If you do lots of entertaining, do you have room for buffet tables or additional dining tables and seating?
    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    Rooftop or Over-Garage Deck

    woman loungrooftop deck
    Woman lounges on a rooftop deck. Digital Vision/Getty Images

    A rooftop deck or a deck on top of your garage is a great idea, but don't rush into this project until you have some structural/engineering matters tested first. This type of deck is perfect for a flat roof. A rooftop deck:

    • Can provide better views than ground-level decks.
    • Offers more privacy.
    • Picks up breezes.
    • Is often a solution for an urban dwelling.

    What is a Rooftop Patio?

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    Maintaining Your Deck

    deck cleaning
    Pressure washing a deck. Banks/Getty Images

     After building your dream deck, you'll need to maintain it. Find out about the best cleaners and how to clean a deck the right way so that it will look beautiful for many years.