Residential properties comes in a variety of layouts and designs. Some homes are bungalows or ranch style, while others are two or three-story designs. Your house may be built on a concrete slab or feature a walkout basement. Split foyer homes also allow for plenty of exterior design and landscaping options. Whatever the configuration of your home, it is essential to come up with a Virginia deck design that takes full advantage of it. On walkout lots there are a variety of options that can turn your deck into a truly luxurious outdoor living space.
Stairs or No Stairs?
It’s always a good idea to install stairs on your walkout decking, if only to provide a fire escape. However, this pathway will provide access to another entrance and some homeowners prefer not to allow that. Find out whether stairs are required by building code and consider all of the options if you are undecided.
Stairs are convenient and can be built in various configurations to make the most of your backyard space. Leaving the stairway off creates more an intimate, balcony feeling, but it may almost limit the use of your deck in the long run.
If you do decide to include a flight of stairs, be sure they are wide enough and that the rise and run (height and depth of each step) are comfortable and safe.
Keep the View
The height of a walkout deck often creates an attractive view. Make sure your deck design will not detract from that view by installing tempered glass railings or other styles that provide the safety required without blocking your line of sight.
Glass railings can get quite expensive when installed down the stairs, but thankfully thin, black aluminum pickets will create an almost invisible look down the stairs as well. This matches perfectly with the tempered glass railing on the main deck. Choose the same style of frame for the entire railing and you will achieve a seamless look.
Make good use of the space underneath your Virginia deck. Some homeowners close off the sides and create a built in storage shed. Others install a vinyl matting underneath the deck boards to provide weather resistant roofing that creates a well protected space underneath. (Remember to slope the deck slightly away from the house and account for drainage, otherwise you can end up with water problems near the house and in the space underneath.)
Maybe you could build a play area for the kids or design a small, shaded dog run for your pets. In any case, it is wise to use this space as much as possible and design the upper deck to accommodate that use. Think about adding some lighting as well, to help make this area comfortable and safe.
If your home was built as a walkout or you are planning to build a deck off of your second story, take the time to design the space well. From the stairs to the railing and even underneath, this area will be much more comfortable and usable when you take the time to design it right. Browse through the latest home and garden magazines and contact your expert Virginia deck contractor for ideas, options and innovations. Make the most of your investment with a walkout deck that truly shines.