Are you maximizing your backyard’s potential? Like many homeowners, I enjoy spending my weekends outdoors when the weather is nice. Whether I’m enjoying a cup of coffee as the sun rises or hosting a barbecue with friends and family, my backyard deck is our go-to outdoor spot for lounging, dining, and entertainment. When properly executed, a deck can extend your living space and perform numerous functions. Here’s a look at some innovative back deck ideas.

Multi-Level Deck

Multi-level decks are an excellent way to add architectural appeal to any backyard. The different deck areas, which can vary in size and shape, can each be given a separate function if desired. For example, a lower deck can be used for food preparation and grilling, while an upper deck can hold a dining table and chairs. Many multi-level decks wrap around the home and are connected with railings and stairs. Multi-level decks are ideal for homeowners who spend a lot of time outdoors and desire more space to relax and entertain.

Built-in Seating

Seating is a must-have feature on any outdoor deck. While most homeowners resort to standard tables and chairs, there are other options available. Built-in seating has become a popular trend that acts as a more permanent solution when attached to decks. Basic wood benches are a simple and inexpensive option for seating. Enclosed box-style benches can also double as storage when the seat is installed on hinges, allowing you to lift the seat and store cushions, pillows, and other items safely inside.

Tree-Encompassing Deck

Love nature? Consider adding trees in the center of your deck. Not only do they enhance decks with their beauty, but their leafy canopies provide ample shade from the sun. If there are already trees present, building a deck around them eliminates the need for tree removal. Be sure to consult with an arborist before you begin the building process to ensure that you allow sufficient room for the tree’s mature size. Consider leaving a couple feet of space around the perimeter of the tree to plant some colorful low-growing shrubs or flowers.

Deck Rail Bar

Installing a bar top over your existing deck railing is an affordable way to add entertainment space to your backyard. Similar to a breakfast bar, an outdoor deck rail bar can be paired with a row of stools to provide guests a place to sit, eat, and drink. Consider cutting a few round holes directly into the bar to securely hold drinks. If the plan is to have the ledge hold food and drinks, consider using an easy-to-clean material, such as ceramic tile or granite.

Fire Focal Point

Fire pits are available in various styles, shapes, and sizes and can be installed directly on your backyard deck if desired. Whether used for entertainment purposes or as an attractive focal point, a fire pit is often a popular gathering spot for family and visitors. Fire pits can be permanent or portable, depending on personal preference, and either store-bought in a pre-made kit or custom-built for a one-of-a-kind end result.