Rochester, NY Deck Contractor  // Deck Design Service
Most homeowners attach their deck to the rear or side of the house, off the kitchen or dining area. It extends your eating and entertaining area. You can also build a freestanding deck out in the yard, though it's not as easy to access. A north facing location will probably mean less direct light, though you can offset that with landscape or exterior lighting. Consider exposure to winds and seasonal chills particularly in the spring and fall. Placing the deck on the south side can subject users to extreme summer heat, especially if there's no wind circulation or tall trees to provide shade. Consider adding privacy panels. Or build an attached pergola with lattice walls for climbing vines; the greenery will screen the view and provide welcome shade. Your problem solving is limited only by your design ingenuity.

How big? Keep it in proportion to your house, a deck should be as large as the largest room inside the house (typically the living room). Decks are built in increments of 2 feet. That's because building materials are usually sold in even lengths of 8, 10, or 12 feet or longer. Check the cost per linear foot of the lumber you're considering; typically 12-foot boards are the most cost-effective. In other words, the cost per linear foot of a 12-foot board is likely to be several cents less than the cost of either an 8-foot or a 16-foot board. When you're buying a lot of lumber, this cost savings can be significant, and it's the reason the average deck is 12x24 feet.

If you dream of an elaborate, multilevel deck but have neither the funds to hire the work done nor the skills to make it yourself, remember that you can always start small. Plan the complete project, but build only the first level this year; add the other tiers in subsequent years.