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Project of the Month: Elevated Deck Addition

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A deck addition built onto a raised ranch home in a suburban Syracuse, NY neighborhood provides an outdoor living space for entertaining, grilling and dining. The elevated deck was part of the homeowner’s master plan for a complete home renovation.

The deck was built using pressure treated wood and a hidden fastener system that does not require unsightly screw or nail holes in the deck board surface. Aluminum spindles, wood post caps and lighting complement the deck. Beneath the deck is an area for a hot tub.

elevated deck addition

The features of this deck include two areas for outdoor living, a shelter and a patio surround for a hot tub. A privacy screen was added.

Homeowner’s Objectives

1.  Complete the home renovation plan.

The homeowner planned to do some major home renovations in stages. We remodeled a kitchen, two baths, a laundry room and added a sunroom addition that blends seamlessly into the architecture. The final phase of the plan was to add a deck with a sitting area and an area for cooking and dining that would provide an exit from the main living area of the home to the yard.

2.  Build a natural wood deck and stay within the project budget.

The homeowner liked the natural look of wood decking but also needed to stay within a budget. Decking material would need to be used for 368 square feet of flooring plus stairs and rails. Lighting, a retaining wall and a patio area for a hot tub would also be included in the project. A privacy screen would be added since a neighboring home was built close in proximity.

home before addition and decking

BEFORE: The original structure of the raised ranch home did not have many windows in the main living area. The only exit to the backyard was on the lower level of the home.

McClurg’s Solutions

1.  Design an elevated deck to complement the home.

We worked with the homeowner from concept through completion to transform the home into a comfortable updated living space. The elevated deck design called for a deck that wrapped around two sides of a sunroom addition that we built last year.

There are two sections of the deck. One side is approximately 14-by-12 feet and accommodates a sitting area. The other side is 20-by-10 feet and provides space for dining and grilling. 

A three-dimensional animated drawing of the deck design.

2.  Use decking materials that match the homeowner’s tastes and budget.

Decking. Pressure treated lumber was used for the decking. The product is less costly than composite decking and very durable. A hidden fastener system, suggested by Lead Carpenter Jeff Loefstedt, was used to secure the decking boards to the frame. It looks amazing. There are no face screws or nails in any of the deck boards.

pressure treated deck with hidden fastener system

Pressure treated wood deck flooring was installed with hidden fasteners. The deck surface is smooth with no visible nails or screws.

Posts.The posts and railings for the deck are pressure treated wood with stock post caps. The aluminum balusters (spindles) are from Deckorators.com.

pressure treated deck posts and rails

Round bronze finish aluminum balusters complement pressure treated wood posts, rails and post caps to add architectural interest to the deck.

Lighting. The upper deck area was illuminated with coach lamps and a floodlight that were placed and installed when the sunroom addition was built. We illuminated the L-shape staircase with "riser lights" that were cut into every other riser of the stairs to gently illuminate the path from the lower patio to the upper deck. The riser lights are a low voltage product and the coach lamps are all on dimmers to set the mood accordingly.

At the bottom of the stairs, just a few feet into the yard, we installed a post light.This added interest to the design and lit the backyard We placed coach lights onto the frame of the hot tub area and a coach lamp at the lower entrance into the house near the hot tub.

elevated deck and home addition

Coach lamps were used on the upper deck. Low-voltage lights were installed on stair risers and a lamppost illuminates the backyard.

Patio. We had to do some extensive excavation to build the lower patio. We installed a 30-by-4 inch high retaining wall to keep the unexcavated area in place. We used a "Mini Creta" product from Techno-Bloc in “Harvest Gold” to build the wall.

The BLU 60 MM Paver System in “Harvest Gold" from Techno-Bloc was used for the patio. We added an accent of "Chestnut Brown" for the top ledge of the retaining wall cap and to border the entire patio area.

elevated deck and patio

View of the patio and retaining wall.

Privacy screen. A privacy screen was constructed from pressure treated wood and a lattice insert was added.

pressure treated deck with privacy screen

A privacy screen encloses the deck on a side of the house that is very close to a neighboring home.