What are multi-level decks?
A multi-level deck is just what it sounds like, a deck with multiple layers set at different heights, usually connected by a stairway or ramped path. These decks can make good use of sloped ground to provide a tiered effect to your decking, creating a unique feature in your garden.
What are they used for?
Multi-level decks can be used much like a regular deck, but different levels can also be designated as areas for different activities. For instance, you may have a barbecueing area on an upper deck closer to the house, and a larger dining or entertaining area below it on a separate level - or a raised or lowered area for a pool or spa.
Another reason good reason to install a tiered deck is to use space in your backyard that would previously have been unusable due to sloping ground. Multi-levelled decking may also help you to take advantage of available space without encroaching on your neighbours' views.
How are they constructed?
These decks are constructed like most other decks. The posts for the deck are measured up in line with the house, concreted in and allowed to set. The bearers are affixed to the posts and the joists spaced in between the bearers to brace them and lend extra strength to the structure. The decking is then overlaid on top, starting next to the house and working outward.
Stairs or ramps are constructed to provide access between the levels and are usually overlaid with decking for continuity, though large stones and sleepers can work equally well. Any stairs or ramps should be constructed with easy maintenance in mind as these areas can trap dirt and debris, quickly becoming an eyesore.
The height between the different tiers of your deck will need to be considered - if it's beyond the basic requirements, you may also need to install handrails on the edges of the upper decking levels.