Many of us have deck features like these. Or are thinking about getting them. Or regret that we don’t have them! Whatever the case, I hope you will find some useful tips in this blog post.
Most decks at least need a simple decorative feature underneath the overhang to make it look finished. The trick is making it so it looks good with any style house and not fake or overwhelmed by too much detail.
For a larger upper level deck where the stairs meet the house, something like this grand stairway balustrade would look appropriate. It’s pricey for something that will be out in all weather, but if you don’t want to use an awning or umbrella and don’t want to see the exposed top of the deck posts, it is a great option:
Another common feature is steps leading from the ground up to where the deck starts. These are often just ‘open’ treads and risers without any wall behind them. In theory they could even be fake or covered up by your furniture so as not to show when not in use. But there still has to be some way for people using them to know where they are going! Just painting a line on the ground is boring – something more is needed.
Here the designer has made them look like they are not just floating there in space, but part of the deck. The back wall and railing/handrail behind them makes them feel supported and connects with the house and stairs below.
Another option is to bury some sort of post or column right at that spot – even if temporarily set – like these columns here (also from my Deck for Renters article):
What about hidden benches? These tend to be less popular than steps because as I mentioned earlier, when you need one, you really need it, and you want to be able to use it. But if yours stays hidden most of the time that can be a benefit for your deck design!
This one is an actual bench with a storage box built in underneath – very handy. You could probably find something similar at most home improvement stores or online.
For exposed beams near the top of the deck, it’s nice to make them look like part of the house rather than just sticking out like an after thought. One way to do that is to go with exposed beams right at the top of the wall too.
And lastly, what about railings? Again, you need something there that actually looks better than just having nothing.
The railing and posts on this deck are made out of almost exactly the same materials as the house! It’s hard to notice it here because it’s taller than 6″ and post-style balusters are used, but this design uses vertical cedar boards that are painted with a ‘stain’ and look like they were made to be there.
This one has some extra charm due to the open lattice-style railings, the hidden bench in front of them, and the top railing actually upside down against the roofline just above it.