No matter their size or shape, imaginative and functional decks make outdoor living enjoyable and easy.
Story by Ann Butenas
More than just a space to put a table and a few outdoor lounge chairs, decks have come into their own in the past decade as the designs and features available have allowed them to become more of a viable living space.
According to Bryan Delap, President of All Under One Roof, Inc., more and more homeowners are discovering the enjoyment of partnering the exoticness of the outside with the inside, and as a result are spending more time outside, especially when adding details such as televisions, outdoor kitchens, screened in areas, fireplaces and ceiling fans. It’s a great way to add additional living space to the home.
“Adding a structure such as a nice deck definitely adds value to a home, especially when it can create a place where the outdoors and the indoors are effortlessly brought together,” Delap noted.
Further, many of these decks can be enjoyed year-round, despite varying temperatures, as the covered areas can be outfitted with fireplaces and heaters and can also be retrofitted with Plexiglas for added warmth during the winter months.
Certain styles of decks include the relatively simple ones that are adjacent to the home. There are also raised and tiered decks, as well as two-story structures, some providing storage space underneath. For homes without a natural deck location contiguous to the house, freestanding decks are a great option.
Among the most popular materials used to build a deck include the popular pressure-treated lumber, which is affordable and readily available across the US; redwood and cedar, used for their rich color and natural beauty; and composites, such as Trex, Timber Tech and Veranda, which are composed of wood fibers and recycled plastic which translates to a product that is weather and stain resistant.
With a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, decks provide a fun and entertaining way to fully maximize a home’s living space. And because we live in a world with so many options for almost everything, decks are no exception. The design ideas are seemingly endless. Today’s decks are not just an outdoor appendage to the house. They have truly become part of the home. And when maximized to their fullest potential, decks can become a whole new living space while simultaneously offering a significant lifestyle improvement.
No matter what your budget, there is a design that can meet your needs. In addition to the standard materials used to build a deck, creativity is the most popular piece of the structure. Decks can be dressed up with inviting seating areas, plants and assorted containers, painted furniture and fun accent pieces. These outdoor living spaces seamlessly combine function, style and comfort and most often provide the best seat in (okay, out of!) the house.
Form & Function
Photos by William Spreadbury
This Overland Park residence boasts a deck so versatile that it seamlessly connects the inside to the outside. French doors leading from the home’s kitchen area to the deck invite fresh air in and extended living space out.
Designed and constructed by All Under One Roof, Inc., along with input from the client, this deck artfully combines both form and function, providing an outdoor living space where friends and family can gather to enjoy a meal fresh off the grill while the kids play in the expansive backyard. It’s where creativity and versatility intersect and the result is nothing short of outstanding.
Among the exciting features and outstanding details on the exposed deck are prefabricated iron spindles and a custom fabricated gate at the top of the stairs designed to keep the family dog off the deck. The creative herringbone design of the deck flooring complements the lattice enclosure below, which offers a perfect place for storage. The light cedar color with the redwood band provides a rich appeal with an inviting flair.
“The entire surface structure is made of composite material, so it is a very low maintenance deck,” noted Bryan Delap, president of All Under One Roof, Inc.
The screened in porch is accented by a “candy tray” ceiling, which slopes over the stone fireplace. The tongue-in-groove car siding, made of a walnut mahogany stain, adds a warm ambiance, creating that feeling of bringing the inside outdoors, especially with the added touches of the flat screen television and ceiling fan.
“It’s fun for me to see something like this all come together,” emphasized Delap, who also noted that a project such as this could not have been completed without the talent, dedication and hard work of his entire team of skilled craftsmen.
Contractor: All Under One Roof | French door to porch: Andersen Doors | Electrical fixtures: Wilson Lighting | Screen porch material: McCray Lumber | Deck, staircase railing & rail caps: Kansas City Deck Supply | Fireplace: Henges Insulation | Furniture – screened-in porch: Pottery Barn | Furniture – deck: Seasonal Concepts | Hanging plants & most plants: KAT Nursery | Gutters, roof, painting and stone installation: All Under One Roof
Photos by Matt Kocourek
This Lenexa residence boldly colored outside the lines when it came to creating an outdoor living area with a personality all its own.
What first catches one’s eye is the porcelain tile that is made to replicate the look of slate.
“This is a porcelain multicolor material produced in Italy,” said Gayle Jagoda, designer with Schloegel Design Remodel Company. “Images of slate are transferred to the tile to recreate the beauty of natural slate tile.”
Prior to undergoing its transformation, the existing cedar deck required a lot of structural considerations and input from architects and structural experts.
The deck floor was lowered to accept the thickness of the new tile installation, and a Schulter drainage system was installed that is designed to route any water that may permeate through the tile to the perimeter of the deck to drain into a buried downspout, creating a waterproof deck floor.
The area below the deck was excavated to allow for ample headroom. The lower portion was then screened in with the same tile on the floor as above on the deck to create the screened-in porch that the homeowners dreamed of. Ceiling fans below and above, along with a sound system, add to the relaxed and inviting atmosphere of the space.
“A pergola was constructed above the upper deck to help filter out the afternoon sunlight,” stated Jagoda.
Among other features are wrought iron spindles, oil-rubbed bronze post caps to complement the spindles, accent lighting and a rustic split-face lower wall comprised of a thin natural stone veneer capped with limestone slabs with chiseled edges. The upper deck is easily accessed from the kitchen and the lower porch level can be accessed from the basement or the new patio area.
Remodeling Contractor: Schloegel Design Remodel | Sliding French door: Kansas City Millwork | Excavation, foundation and flatwork: Randy’s Custom Contracting | Electrical fixtures: Wilson Lighting | Electrician: PK Electric | Cedar decking and pergola material: Owen Lumber | Deck and staircase railing and rail caps: Kansas City Decking | Gutters: Ratliff Guttering and Siding | Tile, stone installation: Eddie Cummings Tile | Paving stone, wall and fire pit cap: Sturgis Materials | Natural Autumn porcelain tile (deck and porch floors): Central States Tile
For Your Viewing Pleasure
Photos courtesy of Total Home Remodeling
While most decks typically enhance the backside of a home, this long-standing residence that bears an Olathe address but is truly out in the country, brings charm and ambiance to the front yard with an eye-catching rosewood deck with a teak border made of Timber Tech wood, a synthetic material that is impervious to stains and scratches.
“This deck has become a second living space for the homeowners,” noted Jake Matthew, project manager at Total Home Remodeling. “This home has been in the family for years and sits on a large piece of land. The backyard is essentially a wooded area, and the front yard provides a scenic view of the wildlife and nature all around them.”
The view is unparalleled, too, especially on the Fourth of July, and it was this deck that sealed the deal for the homeowners when the opportunity to build it was presented to them.
“They get to see several fireworks shows from all over,” said Matthew. “There is not one bad seat on this deck.”
Glass panels used throughout the deck allow for uninterrupted views and the aluminum railing gives the appearance of wrought iron while riser lights within the stairs leading up to the deck provide a soft and welcoming appeal at night.
The extended corner of the deck off to the side not only softens the space but also allows for an extra dining room.
“Now that they have this deck, the family is outside constantly, enjoying the wildlife, and they have made it another part of their home,” said Matthew.
Contractor: Total Home Remodeling | Landscaper: Out-Landish | Striped Pillows: Calvin Kline Home | Vase with flowers: Tommy Bahama Home | Croche pillow: Broyhill Home | Trellis Pillows, Tray, Tea Towels: Home Goods | Napkins, runner, throw, find jow pillow: Cynthia Rowley | Plates and bowls: Royal Doulton | Placemats: World Market