Modern Deck Building: Design Considerations, Deck Extensions, and Deck Accessories. Part 2: Deck Extensions

Table of Content

Extending the Basic Deck: Structures, Tiers and Railings, Garden Integrations

Deck Structures

Adding deck structures to a basic deck is a fundamental characteristic of modern deck building. Again, consider climate and building codes, and the potential impact on deck maintenance. Such structures can be pergolas, gazebos, or roof extensions.

A pergola is a structure with an open roof that often hosts vines or creeping roses for cover. In hot weather a pergola is very useful for shade. It can stand alone or be a part of a deck, but the advantages it conveys are seasonal.

A gazebo or pavilion is similar to a pergola, but with a solid roof, though usually without walls. In it you might add electrical connections, lighting, or a ceiling fan. Like the pergola, a gazebo or pavilion can be standalone or a part of a deck. It also is primarily seasonal in Ontario’s climate.

A roof extension is more tightly integrated with the house than are the pergola or gazebo. It is really a semi-enclosed room, with one, two, or three walls. Because of this tight integration, matching the aesthetics of the roof extension to those of the house matters. The access to the house depends on the use case involved, but usually the interface to the house is through its kitchen or master bedroom.

Tiers and Railings

Decks don’t have to be flat and plain structures.. Tiered decking can expand space and create interest – however, a one level deck is often more functional. At this point it’s important to consider the railings your deck might have. Building code requirements, height requirements, and staircase safety all necessitate railings. But railings don’t need to be unattractive. Dividers made of glass, or railings made with cable, can be effective and pleasing. They don’t need to negatively impact sight lines; in fact, they can positively integrate with planters and other deck features.


Garden Integrations

Integrating your deck with the surrounding garden can pose challenges that fortunately can be addressed with deck extensions. Large existing trees can be fitted within a deck, with surrounding seating. Access to lawns can be facilitated with staircases. Flower pots, flower beds, and planters can add colour and interest. And paths can pass through a well designed deck.

Deck Building Accessories

Beyond creative deck structure and appealing extensions, your deck is enhanced with suitable deck accessories.

Effective lighting can be functional and attractive. Stair lighting looks great and enhances safety. Underwater pool lighting and overhead lighting can make your deck attractive to use in the night, extending its use.

An outdoor kitchen, often designed around a grill, is a popular and useful addition. However, remember that climate will affect how much time that outdoor kitchen will be available for use. The potential return on investment will depend in part on how useful the kitchen is in practice. Similar considerations affect fire pits, but they might actually extend the useful season of a deck building.

Swimming pools are also usually seasonal enhancements, getting closed in the winter months. On the flip side, a hot tub might really find its place when the weather gets cold.


Choices of patio furniture and decisions about TVs and music systems will depend on your personal habits and desires.

The wide range of deck extensions, enhancements, and accessories can really elevate your deck. Deck builders and deck contractors are familiar with the benefits and options, and can play an important part in your deck design.

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