Don't let a small backyard stop your dreams of having a sensational outdoor living space. Creating a functional and attractive deck is possible no matter how small your backyard space is. Working with a skilled contractor who understands deck design is the best way to optimize the space and make your dreams of adding outdoor living space a reality.

Many standard decks start at 12 by 12 feet but can be as small as eight by eight feet for limited use, such as a simple sitting area for two or a BBQ grill just off the kitchen. Bigger isn't always necessarily better. Just because you have the space for an oversized deck doesn't mean it's the best option. Larger decks cost more to build and maintain. A family of four who enjoys grilling and eating outside may find that a 16-foot wide and 12-foot deep deck is sufficient. The primary question for homeowners is, "what do you want to use the deck for?"

1. Evaluate Your Needs

Decks are most often used for dining, entertaining, and relaxing. Consider your current outdoor space, how you use it, and how you would prefer to use it in the future. If you regularly host family and friends for meals, you may want to maximize your deck seating area and include a customized grill area. Your needs will differ if you don't particularly enjoy grilling or outdoor dining. Working with a professional will give you the advantage of properly planning your new deck to fit your lifestyle.

2. Match the Design to Your Home

One of the essential steps to successful deck design is ensuring that the materials, style, and shape blend with your home and your landscape. Working with an experienced deck contractor will ensure your new deck will add to your home's beauty and increase its value. Planning for an efficient and convenient flow between the inside and your new outdoor living area is another crucial factor that an experienced contractor will address. 

3. Consider Adding Levels

Homeowners with difficult yard situations, such as an awkward slope, are often discouraged and unsure how to add a functional deck. A small deck can be a great way to overcome landscape challenges. A multi-level deck can make good use of vertical space and allows you to use the lower level for storage or a patio. A stepped-down design can provide multiple levels for different activities. One level might be for grilling and dining, while another is furnished for quiet conversation and relaxation. 

4. Plan for Privacy

Adding an arbor will support flowering vines and is an excellent way to increase privacy. Lattice panels can help create boundaries around your outdoor living space and block neighboring views. Train climbing vines up the screen to create a focal point and a sense of privacy. An umbrella or awning can also be used to add both shade and privacy.  

5. Proper Furniture Size and Arrangement

Arrange furniture for function, no matter how large or small your deck is. Too much furniture can quickly overwhelm a smaller space, while too little will look bare and uninviting. Choose smaller patio furniture to avoid taking up too much floor space. Placing an outdoor sofa in the center and matching chairs on either side is a simple furniture arranging trick that sets guests directly across from one another for conversation. A built-in bench around the railing takes up less space than an outdoor sofa and creates more standing space.

6. Include Storage Solutions

There are multiple ways to add valuable storage. Seating with hidden storage for outdoor cushions, toys, and other small items is a practical choice. Use vertical storage options such as baker's racks designed for outdoor use. Multi-purpose tables with built-in storage are readily available. If your deck is elevated, plan for storage underneath for toys, seasonal furniture, and gardening tools.

7. Add Landscaping 

Thoughtful landscaping can help blend your deck and yard into a seamless look. Use small shrubs to help conceal deck footings, posts, and corners. Trees offer welcome shade and privacy, and flowers or potted plants help connect your deck with the rest of your garden.

Don’t Forget About Legal Considerations

It’s essential to check with local zoning ordinances before you get too far along in the planning process. They will likely limit the size of your deck, the height of any privacy screens, and the minimum distance from the deck to your lot lines. In addition, subdivision or homeowner association (HOA) covenants may restrict your design.

Small Decks Can Be Beautiful and Functional

The right size deck depends on your home, lifestyle, and family. A huge deck can look out of place on a smaller home, just as a small deck looks wrong on a big house. Although many decks are attached to a house, you can also build an unattached deck in your yard. There are many options to consider, and working with an experienced deck builder is the best way to ensure you get a welcoming, functional deck for your home.

Work With a Locally Owned Expert

Banner Construction has been in business since 1993, beautifying homes throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. We provide exterior restoration and replacement services, including James Hardie fiber cement siding, premium window replacements, and low-maintenance PVC decks.

We install capped PVC decks made with TimberTech AZEK™ Building Products. These decks provide the beauty of wood without the associated maintenance and upkeep. AZEK decking composites come in various finishes and colors and carry a 25-year limited warranty. 

Banner Construction is proud of our outstanding reputation for excellence in customer service and performance. We have received the Guidemaster Award for Excellence several years in a row. This award is for reliable service and on-time and on-budget performance. 94% of our clients say they are likely to recommend us. Contact us online or call 314-356-9861 to schedule a free consultation.