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Fun at Each Floor: Expert Design Tips for Your Multi-Level Deck
Multi-level deck design presents both an exciting challenge and a myriad of possibilities. With layers of opportunity to build, style, and decorate your unique outdoor vision that's all your own, each floor can transform into an outdoor version of a room in your house — from a kitchen to a living area to a cozy respite. Whether you’re looking to maximize space to entertain friends and family or want elevated views of your outdoor paradise, multi-level decks give you the raw square footage to expand your domain however you see fit.
From the moment you start building your masterpiece to applying the finishing touches, you’ll need to keep an open mind and understand the unique design needs of a multi-story deck. Here are some tips to consider as you embark on your multi-level deck design.
3 Tips for Designing Each Level of Your Deck
As a homeowner, designing your deck is an opportunity to expand your interior aesthetic to your outdoor space. That opportunity only increases with multi-level deck design; here are three ways you can take full advantage of every part of your new tiered structure.
1. Keep cool and cozy below deck
The bottom floor of a deck offers shade and a more intimate space — the kind of place where you or your guests can steal away for quieter moments during parties and gatherings, regardless of the season. With the ability to be both cozy and inviting, this is the perfect space to try out some of these elements:
- A steamy hot tub tucked away for maximum warmth
- A low-hanging hammock for a private nap or reading nook
- A cool, stone patio to hide from the summer heat
- A fireplace hangout to gather in the early autumn
2. Encourage guests to linger on each level
Your deck’s mid-level tier could be the main gathering hub of your outdoor space, and the possibilities of what you can do with it are endless. Take advantage of this square footage and create a scenic respite that’s both practical and speaks to your style with these ideas:
- A couple of ceiling fans to keep the air circulating and your guests comfortable
- A built-in wooden bench for a mid-level stopover (and storage)
- A set of planters and pots to create your own hanging gardens
- A dazzling set of Trex light fixtures built into your posts and railings to shine over your deck and backyard
3. Provide an elevated experience at the top story
Your deck’s top story gives you the best view and likely the closest connection to your house. Use this space as the social hub of your hosted events, a lookout spot to enjoy the sight of your proverbial kingdom, or even just somewhere to catch the most possible sunlight. Here are some design options for your top deck:
- A central cooking hub with an outdoor kitchen and grill
- A sunbather’s dream with cozy, all-season reclining chairs
- A pergola with hanging swing benches and other comfy hangout flourishes
- A star-gazing station, complete with a telescope to observe the night sky
5 Multi-level Deck Designs to Spark Your Imagination
The multi-story deck has plenty of versatility both in design and structure. From design diversity to entertainment opportunities galore, here are a few inspirational concepts to keep in mind as you assemble your own castle.
1. The Classic Double-Decker
A favorite among backyard two-level deck designs, this unbeatable multi-level deck design gives a distinct look and feel to each floor of your house and deck while offering you room to get creative — from mixing materials to integrating activities for all ages.
2. A Cascading Multi-Story
If you have the room, make it work — these eye-catching multi-story options give larger homes a majestic outdoor feel that’s perfect for entertaining. Even if you don’t have a ton of backyard space or the room to build stairs connecting each level of your deck, you can still take advantage of your home’s vertical space to create an outdoor haven with a certain degree of privacy on every floor.
3. An Aquatic Wonderland
What’s better for layers of outdoor fun than a giant splash zone at the bottom — the key reason why multi-story decks so naturally fit with a pool. From outdoor summer grilling at picturesque heights to an easy transition between swimming and sunbathing, this combo option is ideal for outdoor designers with the resources and concepts to make it work.
4. A Rings-of-Saturn Wraparound
A common sight in rural and woodsy properties, the wraparound look coupled with a multi-story structure gives that unique rings-of-Saturn appeal that captures attention right away. Expansive overhanging views are a highlight of this style, while comprehensive under-deck space offers everything from storage to cozy hideaways for every season.
5. Low-Rise Layers to Maximize Your Space
Sometimes, the best split-level, two-level deck designs don’t have to include entire stories. These low but sprawling layouts allow for a multi-level deck design even if you’ve got a one-story home. With a few well-placed steps along your deck, you can create unique vignettes of gathering spots across your terrain, which can be perfect for less hilly regions.
Time to Create Your Multi-Story Masterpiece
With the inspiration to mix in a unique touch at each step, you’re well on your way to creating the outdoor high-rise structure you’ve always dreamed of. The next steps include planning the layout, costs, and resources needed to pull off your multi-level deck design.
Take some time planning each floor of your multi-story deck structure with these tools for researching costs, creating your design, and finding the right building partner to bring your ideas to life. By combining your ideas and the tools to realize them, you’ll soon have the multi-level fun you’ve been looking for.
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