Many suburban homes come with limited yard space, but this doesn’t mean homeowners need to forget about their dreams of enjoying a beautiful Virginia deck. With some creativity and these deck design tips, even the smallest yard can be transformed into functional outdoor living space for the whole family.
Tip # 1 – Avoid Stairs Where Possible
Stairs require a significant amount of space. Look over your yard with a sharp eye and consider how you can build a deck without stairs for access. Measure the distance from the ground to your back door sill. Anything less than 24” allows for a basic platform deck just one step down from the door. Simply build up a garden around the deck and you can walk off onto the grass comfortably and safely. If your back door sill sits higher than 24” off the ground, consider limiting the access from your deck to the yard.
Where stairs become necessary, design to maximize space. Run long staircases beside the deck or along the front, butting against the deck. Avoid using landings, as these take up more space than a long run of stairs.
Tip # 2 – Choose Glass Railing or Skip the Railing
Certain types of railing block the view from your deck and can make the area feel cramped and closed in. Tempered glass railing works well to optimize the view and allow natural light to permeate this space. Ask your Virginia deck builder about the different options available using tempered glass panels, including wood frames, aluminum and vinyl framework.
Skip the railing altogether on ground level decks and use landscaping to draw the eye out into your limited yard. Tall posts and decorative beams provide overhead interest and places to hang flower baskets or outdoor décor, but skipping the railing where possible makes for a striking deck design.
Tip # 3 – Make the Most of Simple Patterns
Although busy patterns and multiple colors can look fantastic on larger decks, small deck areas look best with simple design. Consider using a monochromatic scheme on the deck surface. Enlarge the look of your yard by working in the same color tones—choose a natural wood stain or composite decking color to help blend the deck into your yard. If you need to add color, choose areas at or above eye level, such as hanging wall art, mounting flower baskets or installing decorative deck lights.
Avoid installing deck boards in a herringbone pattern or using borders. Instead, opt for simple patterns. Run the deck boards parallel to your house for a traditional look or install deck boards perpendicular to the house to provide visual stretch.
Use deck lighting sparingly or hide the deck lights to avoid breaking up your deck surface. A continuous visual, kept neat and tidy where possible, makes a small deck appear much larger and allows you to optimize your small yard.
Your Virginia deck builder has plenty of experience in dealing with properties of all sizes. Ask them to help you create the ideal deck design for your small yard, utilizing the tips above to realize that outdoor living you’ve always dreamed of.