Good Deck Designs Follow Basic Design Principles

To come up with great deck designs for your backyard deck or patio, you just have to know and understand some basic principles before you charge off.

This is a consistent theme that I tend to mention often. It's because if you never visit my site again, I hope that this message will resonate with you.

Don't build a deck that's just another box tacked on to the side of a house.

Instead, build a deck that has character, style and enhances your home rather than detracts from it.

Deck Design Software

I mention design software because some people find it very helpful. It depends on your skill level and confidence - and knack for creativity.

But for those looking to see what I have say about it, you can check out my comments here.

Help For Landscape And Deck Layouts

The same goes for the overall landscape design of your backyard. Some of the design software assists this aspect of creating the overal feel of your backyard and deck.

You can lay it all out - your deck, your backyard, trees, shrubs, walkways, flowerbeds - and the deck - all together. I have a few comments about this as well.


There is a site that we found called The Structural Engineer that is the source of a number of different structural engineering software applications. They have some for the United States residential market, as well as European markets; if that applies to you.

That's It For Design Tools

Read these articles on Principles of Deck Design and Designing Decks - then print them out for reference. Consider it a free deck designing lesson. It explains all the key points of how to approach designing decks and will get you thinking like an architect in not time.

Once you've gone over it you'll be much better versed in...

  • organic or imported designs
  • formal vs informal design
  • basic site design
  • physical obstacles and attributes
  • topography
  • climate and exposure
  • design techniques
  • creating separate areas on a deck
  • stairs, doors and foot traffic
  • architectural issues
  • contrasts and continuity
  • shape
  • size and cost

It will definitely help you stir some ideas of decks of your own. And you'll appreciate and understand the value of some good deck design software that helps pull it all together for you.

© 2004-2022 All Rights Reserved.