A deck is a fantastic way to expand your home’s living space without the need of a costly addition that can take weeks to complete. Decks are relatively easy to build and the outdoor entertaining area you gain is not only great for your own enjoyment but also serves as a good selling feature should you at any point choose to sell your home.
Deck designs vary wildly, but arguably one of the most eye-catching is the multi level deck. No matter if your deck is big or small, having multiple layers provides a natural division to the different kinds of entertainment you have planned for your deck. Plus multi level decks are very convenient, allowing you to easily build from an existing deck or create more usable space when ground area is limited. Even the smallest backyard can be given a whole new life with the installation of a multi level wood deck.
Here are just a few stunning examples of multi level deck ideas to help inspire your own project.
1. Two level deck designs are perfect for connecting to an existing deck
(Villa with pool and 5 terraces, by Hanne Holsted, photo by Kathrine Sørgård)
Perhaps one of the most useful ways of incorporating a multi level deck design onto a home is to connect two floors. If you already have an existing deck, building another one connected via stairs gives you an entirely new space for entertaining, however you please, but keeps it easy to access and still use the entire deck at the same time.
In the above example, we see the lower deck is a dedicated dining area and on the far right, a simple but attractive staircase leads up to a lounge area. Two level deck designs with a staircase, rather than terracing, are an excellent way of creating contrast between two floors while maximizing usability.
You can take this same idea and apply it to an existing ground-level deck and a new rooftop deck, as well.
2. Create dimension and depth by going downwards
(Invisible House, by Lincoln Miles, photo by Julian Winslow)
Many multi level decks tend to favor going upwards with the terracing, thereby creating an elevated spot with a bird's eye view. However, this backyard oasis is a perfect example of how going for something unexpected yields dramatic results.
The pool in this backyard is located lower than the actual home, likely due to the natural slope of the ground. Rather than simply building a single staircase down to the pool, this homeowner opted to play up the varying levels and maximize the space by building a larger multi level deck that is both functional and playful. Pictured on the far right, you'll also see that the terrace begins to move upwards to provide easy access to a hot tub.
3. Isolate a cozy nook from the rest of the deck
(Private Terrace in Munich, photo by Salih Usta)
Another advantage of multi level deck designs is that they allow you to segregate one area of the deck from the rest. Rather than having a single level, expansive deck, you can instead add a few short levels or terraces, upwards or downwards, to create a cozy nook for private enjoyment.
The compact but well-designed deck above is a perfect example of how to put this idea into effect. By building two terraces to this deck, the homeowner now has a more private, secluded space for relaxing, in addition to a larger more centered space for hosting family and guests.
4. Gentle terracing and built-in seating with a relaxing landscape
(The Sound of Music, by Mareiner Holz)
Multi level decks don't need to be dramatic to be effective. Very short, gentle terracing can work well in extending a deck and making it seem larger than it is. Consider playing with the position of the boards and varying between vertical, horizontal or diagonal placement.
This relaxing backyard deck has subtly different layers that creates a very soft and fluid design. You'll also see that the addition of a built-in wood and stone bench seat adds texture to the space that also helps to visually separate the upper deck from the lower.
5. Elevated sunning terrace in a unique backyard addition
(Private Condo, by hacedor/maker: arquitectos)
You can find plenty of multi level deck plans and inspiration for rather small spaces as well. This exotic looking condo patio features a partially above-ground hot tub, complete with clear glass walls. While beautiful, partially above-ground hot tubs and pools are difficult to get into, but the homeowner cleverly decided to create a small multi level deck installed beside it.
With just two steps up to the main platform, this little deck allows for easy access into the hot tub and functions as a sunning porch separate from the rest of the outdoor entertainment space.
Multi level outdoor decks can be as bold or as modest as you like, but there is no doubt that a few simple levels or terraces gives a wood deck a much more interesting look. Kebony modified wood is an excellent choice for multi level decks, as it offer the classic beauty of real wood with remarkable durability, that requires no additional maintenance beyond simple cleaning. Additionally, you can also use Kebony for structural support of your deck’s various layers and any accent pieces you want to incorporate like seating, tables or railing.