Deck Tour: Multilevel deck with eye-catching arbors

A couple in Iowa creates an impressive multilevel deck perfect for family gatherings.

The homeowners in Iowa decided to upgrade their 14-year-old deck with a more modern living space. This deck is an excellent example of a deck that can be used for family gatherings. The deck needed to be large enough for a 12-person family. The deck required to have multiple levels to avoid a single long flight of stairs.

The result is a cedar deck with two levels, privacy screens made of Wisteria, two arbors covered in latticework, and surrounding plants. The deck’s top level, which includes a gas barbecue and a table and chairs for two, is 20×14 feet. The stairs lead down to the deck’s lower level, which has two distinct areas. The larger area, which can accommodate an entire family dining table, measures 15.5×12 feet.

A beautiful arbor can create privacy. The pattern of the overhead lattice alternates between two copper pipes and 1×4 boards.

A sugar maple 14 years old creates an autumn foil on the deck.

Furniture was chosen by the homeowners based on pieces from Monet’s Giverny garden in France. This furniture is made from eucalyptus and, therefore, more durable than cedar.

The thin-profile cable railing allows you to enjoy the forest. At dusk, the cable almost disappears.

Deck privacy is essential when there’s a bike path behind the house and a sidewalk next to it. The deck is supported by a striking arbor of 6×6 posts with copper-pipe crosspieces.

The arbor posts were planted with Wisteria, which will grow up the topmost lattice to provide shade and protect the deck against bike traffic.

These homeowners didn’t adjust their lifestyles to a typical deck but built one that fits them. Considering these five factors, you can achieve the same result if you plan to build a deck.

1. Size-wise. It is easy to underestimate the amount of space that you will need. Consider how you will use your deck and the type of furniture you want.

2. Keep secrets. Ensure privacy with vine-covered or lattice screens.

3. Your nights will be brighter. Lighting should be positioned to make cooking, eating, and serving easy in the evening. Always provide ample light near the stairs.

4. The grill is a good reminder. Grilling is the No. Grilling is the most popular deck activity. Consider including a separate area for this purpose.

5. Select functional furniture. Choose built-in planters or benches if space is limited. Wide steps can double as seating and walkways.

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