Decks for all budgets
Key feature: A sunken concrete firepit that acts as focal point
This deck more than doubles the living space with ample sunbathing, conversation, and entertaining areas.
Expanding an existing deck made of Trex, a composite material, architect Peter Pfau carved out an area for a new entry pavilion and another for a firepit, while using a boardwalk to connect the main house to two tented guest rooms.
Design: Pfau Architecture, San Francisco (415/908-6408).
Construction: Woodworking West, Stinson Beach, CA (415/868-2265).
It’s where owners Tom Fuller and Bill Kelly relax in the evenings. Architects Ken Payson and Peg Denney designed the serene space as part sitting area off the bedroom, part spa off the bathroom.
The deck had to be built over a sandy hillside, so Payson and Denney supported it on a heavy-duty concrete foundation.
The fir decking is painted spruce gray to complement the periwinkle stucco walls screening the hot tub. A low redwood bench along the deck’s outer edge is inventively supported by horizontal cylinders made from steel pipe and bolted to the deck framing.
Design: PaysonDenney Architects, Santa Fe and Santa Monica (800/927-8551)
Key features: Slate tile surface, wood steps, and privacy panels
When Pamela and Gary Marsh need some peace and quiet, they relax on a 9- by 25-foot deck covered with multicolored slate tiles. Handsome stone pavers ― a product called Stone Deck ― make it feel like a terrace on the ground.
These tiles rest on the same kind of framework a wooden deck does. A fiberglass backing underneath the 16-inch-square slate tiles strengthens the stone. (Stone Deck West’s tiles are also available in quartzite and granite at 877/686-4759.) The broad wooden steps are made of ipe, a rich, red-colored Brazilian hardwood.