FEATURE 04 November 2012

How to Create a Great Ground Level Deck

There are a number of design techniques that can be used in creating an ideal ground level deck:

      1. A wide set of steps can become a transition to the yard. They offer more design possibilities than standard size stairs. They can serve as platforms for container plants and other decorative objects. In addition wide stairs can be used as extra seating for small or large gatherings.


      2. Something as simple as a change in direction in the shape of the platform can break up the monotony of a rectangular deck. A 45 degree angle here and there can alter the appearance of a ground level deck and add a dramatic look to it.


      3. Container plants and hanging baskets can be used to create a movable landscape much more easily for a lower deck than a higher one. Clusters of plants in 1 or 2 colors are extremely effective in accomplishing this.


      4. The careful placement of a perimeter of washed river rock or some other natural material can create the illusion that the deck is floating in place. Low voltage lighting can be used to repeat this effect once the sun goes down.


      5. Lush foliage that strategically borders the low level deck can also be utilized to create an airy, floating appearance to this outdoor space.


      6. A low L-shaped or wraparound ground level deck can be constructed to conform to the shape of the house in a more aesthetically pleasing manner without overpowering the home.


      7. A fence or privacy screen can be easily used to provide a refuge from the eyes of prying neighbors or act as a wind screen. A trellis or section of framed lattice can also work well with climbing vines and plants to accomplish the same purpose.


      8. Simple built-in benches can provide extra seating without obstructing views of the surrounding area. Something as simple as rearranging the deck furniture can be the key to improving the view also.


      9. An overhead structure such as an arbor or pergola tends to be less obtrusive while providing protection from the intense rays of the sun. Either one can also provide support for attractive climbing vines and colorful plants that will enhance the look of the deck.


      10. The use of similar materials on the house and deck can help the deck blend in with the surrounding backyard and ultimately add a great deal of subtle beauty to the whole landscape design..


Careful use of a variety of design techniques can enhance the look of any ground level decks and improve the quality of life for their owners and their families and guests.


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