Notes from a Remodeling & General Contractor for the Wichita, KS Area
With spring arriving in Kansas, it is time to start looking forward to spending more time outdoors. One of the best places to do so, it on an outdoor deck. We’ve talked decks before when planning your next outdoor improvement for your home, but this time we want to take are more in-depth look at the various types, what they are made of, and various options available today.
Basic Types of Decks
Decks can range from a simple utilitarian landing to a raised door and a stair case to the ground or be large and fully covered purely for your outdoor enjoyment. In the Wichita, KS area, we deal primarily with platform, raised and two-story decks that are attached to the house.
A platform deck is simple and built on the same level as a single-level dwelling like the ranch-style house that is common in Kansas. Typically we see these attached to the home but occasionally they are detached. Platform decks have the option of not have railings given they are low to the ground. This allows for different kinds of perimeters such as planters and bench seating. A platform deck can be covered or attached gazebos as well. Just keep in mind that with platform decks, all the materials should be well protected against the elements – especially water.
In contrast, raised decks are attached to homes with an above-grade (higher than the ground/earth) first floor. These are typically seen on raised ranch-style or split-level home that that have the main living area on a second floor. Raised decks required railing for safety and often stairs for easy access to the yard. The foundation area underneath can be left or concealed with landscaping and/or skirting like lathe or lattice panels. Raised decks can be covered and/or have an integrated gazebo attached too.
Two Story Decks
Two-story decks are much like raised decks but provided access to the upper levels of your home as well as providing an area below to enjoy or utilize. The structural supports can add a different aesthetic look to the home, which is why 12x12 inch timber posts or angled supports are used. These decks can be covered or have attached gazebos as well.
All the deck types above can be partially or fully covered, which helps keeps the elements at bay and allow more outdoor enjoyment. Roofs can be installed with a shed style (flat), gable, or hip style roof or even a combination of all three. The roof’s ceilings can be either flat or vaulted, covered with pine, cedar, maple, etc. and then stained or finished to your color of choice to add extra outdoor appeal to your home. With either fully or partially covered deck, you can also opt to be covered with a pergola or have custom open gable ends. There is also wide selection of exterior lighting and exterior ceiling fans that can be installed where desired too.
All the decks we build in Kansas have a treated floor joist system for structural and cost reasons. The remainder of the decks are finished with the below materials and in many cases the treated aspects are completely covered (minus the underside). That are various types of materials that one can use such as:
- Pressure treated pine – Most cost effective but required maintenance
- Pressure treated with a combination of cedar – second most cost effective
- Cedar with pressure treated floor joists
- Redwood with pleasure treated floor joists
- Composite (lots of brand choices) – zero maintenance & long term finish warranties
In the Wichita, KS area and Ready to Plan or Start your Deck?
For those in Wichita, KS and the surrounding area including Hutchinson, Newton, and McPherson, S&A Construction can help design and build your dream deck. And if you are looking to add just add on a pergola, gazebo, pavilion, some fencing, or an outdoor kitchen/fireplace, then please consider S&A Construction of Wichita KS as well.
Let us know if you have any questions, other ideas, or comments!