Large Walkout Vinyl Deck On Mountain
An extremely large walkout vinyl deck was about the only design option for this building site.
What do you do when you are perched precariously on a north facing
mountain slope in a location where winter rain is measured in feet?
You better cover that deck in something that can handle the rain and
dampness. You should also consider building a deck large enough to give
you some useful space to live on.
So that is what the intent of this deck was.
This was a new house on a steep mountain slope without much usable land
for a backyard. How do you go about building a deck in a case like this?
advantage of what you do have - great views. This house was a one storey
home with a walkout basement that opened up to the grade in the backyard. It was
also quite a wide home.
In a case like this a small deck against such wide wall would look odd.
It would make the house look even more dominant. So you should seriously
consider building a deck that is more proportionate in size to the house.
This creates equal visual weight between the home and the deck.
backyard was non- existant.
It sloped steeply down and had a north-north
west exposure. This meant sunshine was going to be at a premium.
reason for a larger deck so as to capture the sun when it was available.
This location was on the west coast and rainfall was just a fact of life.
During the winter it rains - sometimes for weeks on end. So a regular wood
deck would have about half the life span as a similar wood deck in the east
or central regions of the country.
Vinyl decks are really the only sensible solution in this type of climate
because of the reduced maintenance but are proving to be beneficial everywhere
But a deck in this location would offer spectacular views...
The clients simply wanted useful space and to capture the essence of west
They wanted a large vinyl deck with aluminum and glass railings
to give them the space and view they desired.
The vinyl surface was a 40 mil flooring product available in 5' widths
and with 1/2" overlapped heat welded seams to ensure no water dripped
underneath the deck.
Vinyl decking offers this benefit - a dry storage or outdoor living area
beneath if so desired. They also wanted their hot tub in the deck to complete
This vinyl deck was a straight forward rectangle - since function was the
primary concern for these clients.
It maximized the usable space. The only
variation from this simple layout was the bump out created for the large
deck stairs along the east side of the deck.
This layout allowed the long stairway to come back to the house and be
a little less noticeable rather than running alongside the front edge or
If you are building a deck that is high above grade, think carefully about
where you will install your deck stairs. Bigger stairways ought to be useful
but not seen - or at least not become part of the main focus of your deck.
With vinyl decks you must consider the orientation of the vinyl material
since it is only available in 5' widths. The usual and proper thing to do
is run the vinyl parallel to the side of the house, starting from the outer
edge of the deck and overlapping each successive run of vinyl about 1/2"
like shingles on a roof.
Certainly the largest deck in my portfolio.
A very large walkout vinyl deck with great expansive views of the
valley and surrounding mountains.
A hot tub set into the deck for year round
usage. But best of all, useful space over an area that would have been unusable.
Imagine if this had been a wood deck. The annual maintenance of a deck
this size would have been overwhelming.
Vinyl decks like this require only minimal maintenance like a scrub with
some soap to brighten it up in the spring. The aluminum railings will never
have to be touched again. Not so if they were wood deck railing posts set
into the joists or mounted externally to the rim joist.
The lessons on this large walkout vinyl deck are to design the size
to match the size of the home, create useable living space and make it
withstand the element.