Every family and every yard deserves to have a comfortable and well designed outdoor living space. No matter how small or large your lawn is, designing a deck to maximize the area will provide better relaxation. Compact yards present unique issues, but certain Northern Virginia deck designs will work within those parameters to create a luxurious and restful space.
Use Your Home’s Features
The very best deck designs are built to connect seamlessly with the house. Most homes have a rear patio door – often a sliding glass door or a French door. Traffic will flow from this entrance onto the deck, so be sure that the immediate area is open and safe. If you must install stairs, such as on lookout elevations, design them to be wide and incorporate railings for safety.
Are there any walls or other architectural features that can be included in the design? Existing corners and alcoves can serve as natural storage locations. With a professional deck contractor on the job your deck can be built around any feature, including chimneys, trees and basement windows. Be creative and think outside of the box, working with exactly what you have.
Stick to One Level
Multilevel Northern Virginia deck designs are excellent for entertainers. But in a smaller yard it’s best to stick with one level. You can still create the multiple room look using accessories and furniture. Limiting the decking to one level provides more space and eliminates the need for stairs and extra railing, which reduce the liveable area.
Decks in small yards need to find their place right away. If you have a walkout elevation (more than 5 feet off of the ground), install your deck level with the patio door. Stairs can be constructed from the upper level deck, if space permits. Lookout elevations (between 2 and 5 feet off of the ground) can go either way. Decking may be installed at the patio door level with stairs to the grass. Or wide stairs extending from the patio door can lead to a ground level deck. This will depend on your preference and grade, but both work well.
Teach the Deck Features to Multitask
Designing for small spaces means including features that have multiple uses. Wide stairs with deep treads (10″ or more) can be used for impromptu seating. Benches with backs double as a railing and can include planters at one end (or both). You can also build storage boxes into benches or use skirting to incorporate a small shed into the space underneath your deck.
It helps to be creative and spend some time thinking about all of the ways you will use this space. Try to design for every eventuality while preserving neatness and a smooth finish. Hide storage behind deck features and create planter boxes and decorative elements that mesh with the frame of this structure. Built in features make the best use of space and provide more living area.
Building a usable and comfortable outdoor living area is possible, even in the smallest yard. Northern Virginia deck designs maximize the area using built in features on a single level and incorporating the shape of the house. Talk to an industry professional about designing a deck that suits your small yard perfectly.