Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Deck Plans

We are working on plans to build a deck in our backyard - possibly this fall when the weather is cooler.   I thought I would show you a picture of the back yard and the back of the house.   If you look closely there are some flowerbeds along the house, but the flat facade of the house needs some work to make it interesting.

See here's a closer shot.

And here is the same area from the side of the yard.

Just so you don't think we have a bare backyard - here it is looking in the other direction.

We have been pondering the deck situation and here are the requirements that we have come up with:

1.  We don't eat outside so this deck does not need to be big enough for a table and chairs - just a couple of chairs and a small table for a cup of tea outside.
2.  We would prefer not to have to move the bush that is to the left of the sliding door as it is well-established and has pretty purple flowers - I think it is a butterfly bush.
3.  We would like the area to have an intimate and cozy feel.
4.  We would like the stairs to be over at one side, rather than in a direct line with the sliding door, so that the deck is a cozy place to sit rather than being a walkway.
5.  We would like the deck to be low to the ground to avoid having animals make their home underneath.

There don't seem to be as many inspiration photos for decks, as compared to patios and porches, but I did manage to find a few, each illustrating some of the elements we are looking for.
I like the simple end-cuts on the pergola in the photo below.  I think hubby and I could pull that off with our simple tools and our simple skills.  I also like that the deck is quite low to the ground.  I was hoping for a cozier feel to our deck, though.

from DIY network

Yep cozy and intimate like this is just what I'm looking for.  We don't need it quite as big, though, since we don't want to eat out there.  While I think the white paint on the pergola is gorgeous, we want low maintenance, so we're going for composite wood.


I like the cozy feel of this deck and pergola.  I think this one is probably a good size as it just seems to fit a small table and a few chairs - morning coffee or afternoon tea furniture.

I like the lattice backdrop in the photo below.  I also like the fact that it is basically the same arrangement with the sliding door that we have.  We are thinking of doing long low stairs along one side, like this deck has, and I like how low to the ground this deck is.

Photo from Kent Development
This next deck is from fellow blogger, Kim at Savvy Southern Style.  I love the simple railing (that we could build ourselves) and the cozy size of her deck.  I asked Kim if she would mind measuring this side of her deck for me so I would know what size 'cozy' is.  She very obligingly emailed me back to say it is 9 x 10 1/2 feet.  Good to know! 

 Savvy Southern Style

Look how cozy and welcoming this deck looks from the inside - this is exactly what I'm going for.  Do you think Kim would mind if I moved into her house?

And this last photo is my very, very, very lame attempt to draw a deck using Paint.  Are you able to figure it out?

What do you think?  Any suggestions for us? What size deck do you have?


  1. I think your idea is a lovely one and I'm sure you and your DH can do this. It will be a nice addition to the back of your home and you'll enjoy it for many years to come.


  2. I wish we were closer Grace- my husband is a master carpenter and this is what he does. I'd send him right on over! It will be lovely and you will love having that spot
    xoxo Pattie

  3. You can come on and move in any time. I have two empty bedrooms. Thanks for sharing my deck. I was reading along and then wait, that's my deck! I think you will really enjoy having an outdoor space to just sit and enjoy the fresh air. Looking forward to seeing it done.

  4. I think a deck would be awesome and I love the pergola idea. Any of the pictures you showed would be beautiful. I also love that barrel of flowers you have next to the sliding doors!

  5. I have to ask, why don't you ever want to eat out there? I think if you built a large enough deck/pergola with a small table for two, you'de find you enjoy it. It could be a half table or small table on one side or in one corner, with still plenty of room for two comfy chairs, a loveseat....

    We've built houses for 300 plus people... and many thought they wanted a small deck. What we hear most is, they wish they made their deck bigger. We always recommend it. Not HUGE, just big enough to accommodate atleast what I wrote above another choice you have is to make two large steps (they can be half circle!) that go down to a bluestone (or similar material) patio with Pergola over it. No animals!

    Just my two cents :-)

  6. We're ripping the hot tub out of our deck this summer because we seldom use it, it takes a LOT of water, and we want room for lounging. Which is what we REALLY do in the back yard.

    I think your ideas are great, and I think Kim's is a lovely inspiration!

  7. Hi Grace!! Check out our website for hidden fasteners.. Thats what we do!!



  8. I love all of your ideas and I think your sketch looks great! We built a new house in 2001 and we did build our deck too small...so in 2004 we built a new bigger deck. I agree with the suggestions to make the deck a little bigger than what you think you will need. You never know..you may want to sit out there with your morning coffee and paper every day and a little eating area would be very pleasant! The long low staircase is a great idea...it can also double as extra seating if you are are doing some backyard entertaining. I can't wait to see the finished project!

  9. I like the fourth photo the best. If its a low deck you won't need railing with spindles...which block a view a problem we always found.
    I like your house Grace... I so miss the homes of Southern Ontario!!

  10. I agree with Angie, Grace - I would go bigger than you think you need. As the owner of a far too small back verandah area, I can't wait until we extend it. Of course, I know our climates are a bit different (!) but I'm sure you'll use it so much more than you think. And think of the decorating possibilities! I'll keep my eye out for some nice pics, but have you checked out Just Beachy - Chris has built a gorgeous outdoor deck area which I think you'll love. Here's the link:
    I'm sure there are later posts where it's all finished too. Hope this helps, and can't wait to see what you decide on! K xx

  11. So the consensus is that the deck size I'm thinking about is too small. Even my mother weighed in on the matter. I"m still pondering what size would work then - big enough for a table and chairs, but still cozy.

  12. Grace, a covered porch across the whole width of the house would be fabulous. Pergolas are great but don`t offer any shelter from sun or rain.

    This is an old post; what did you end up doing?