When designing a deck, it is very important to decide how the deck will be used.
How many tables and chairs will accommodate your family and guests for a cook out? I am sure this deck was designed and built by the house contractor the first problem, this deck should have been extended to the end of the house on the right. The traffic pattern from the existing door to the stairs will require part of the deck area which is not good.
This deck is not wide enough from the house to the stairs to allow chair movement on the stair side without the fear of falling off the deck. It would be better to remove the existing stairs and install a new from the right side of the deck toward the driveway.
Upper deck off of the kitchen with stairs off to the left to a walk way which wraps around to the lower deck area. The lower decks include three decks at different levels to the fit ground elevation changes. The deck on the right includes a Hot Tub for the family to enjoy.
The bottom of the this plan shows the deck construction details needed including all lumber sizes to meet the county construction code.
This large deck provided ample space for entertaining. The problem with this deck was the hand rail. The hand rail was constructed with no posts. I started to remove the hand rail pickets when all of sudden the whole hand rail broke away and fell to the ground. If some one was leaning on the rail, they could have fallen with the rail. This construction is a home builders special. The contractor found the cheapest sub-contractor to build this deck.
The shape of this deck fits the area left by the sidewalk pattern. However, always place the stairs off of the deck so the traffic pattern will not interfere with the larger area for seating and the table for eating. The stairs should be near where you see the gas grill in the picture.
I designed this deck many years ago. Before construction started soil had to be removed away from the back of the house. Since this was a home remodel job, I was concerned about the depth of the house foundation. The contractors employees dug down to see what was present. There was no foundation along the back and sides of this house. The soil had to be removed very carefully and a new concrete foundation installed in sections. What kept this house from falling apart, I will will never know. The test digging that was done saved this house from collapse.
The deck support construction was designed and constructed so the deck boards would be running at the same angle as the traffic flow.
A deck off of the kitchen and a separate deck off of the master bedroom.
In between each deck floor joint, decks must be bolted to the house plate.
Some city codes require that the deck posts must be steel when the deck is more then 8 feet off of the ground.
Hand rails can have many different looks and patterns. In this picture, the design called for the basket weave look. The rail should be 3 to 4 inches off of the deck floor to allow debris to be cleaned off of the deck.
The deck you see in this picture has no stairs to the patio area below. If you are concerned for you security, maybe this is a good idea, but from a designers stand point the deck and the patio should be tied together.
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