Working With A Deck On An Uphill Slope
Building a deck on an uphill slope seems a bit counter intuitive.
After all with the land sloping towards the house, there better be some very good drainage around the foundation.
But building a deck in this situation can be done.
This bright and inviting vinyl deck is perfectly designed for a wet
west coast environment. The decking if pvc sheet vinyl welded into
waterproof surface. Aluminum railngs finish it off.
You will see a nice litte walkway over the garden and a set of
stairs. Two entry and exit points for a free flow and great southern
exposure when the sun does shine.
Vinyl decks can be an excellent replacement choice for an old rotting wood deck.
The original deck on this house was a typical 2x6 cedar wood deck which
was in disrepair and had some serious rotting deck boards.
It needed a major face lift and something to change it and make it more
functional and inviting so the family would want to spend more time on it.
Take a close look at this deck and notice how the land actually slopes uphill from the house.
It's an unusual building site.
The original wood deck was about half the size of the finished deck -
extending outwards about 10' leaving a 2' gap before the land abrupbtly
sloped up and beyond the deck surface.
But the backyard was facing south and had a overall upward slope to it.
The plants and trees grew like crazy back there and the landscaping was
It just needed a deck that could do it justice.
These people didn't want any radical changes but they did have a couple non-negotiable desires.
They wanted something that was waterproof, and required low maintenance,
unlike their wood deck which was rotting away.
And they wanted to effectively deal with the uphill slope and the gap
around the existing deck (which was almost like a water-less moat around
a castle) because it was useless space.
I immediately suggested they consider using a waterproof 40 mil vinyl
flooring membrane. There were many different colors available. A 40 mil vinyl was extremely
durable and absolutely water proof.
then suggested an aluminum picket railing system with 5/8" pickets (balusters)
to create an open airy feel and not obstruct the view of the beautiful flowers
and landscaping around the backyard. These two suggestions addressed their
The other design idea that they liked was to extend the existing deck
outwards to fill up the gap. And where it couldn't quite make it, I decided
to "bridge the gap" - literally.
This one decision really gave this deck on an uphill slope a uniqueness that they were looking
for. And it was totally functional and hid the swayle in the grade. The
landscaping around it really brought it all together.
layout was designed to increase the size marginally and bring the edge of
the deck closer to the uphill sloping grade.
The bridge served two purposes.
It hid the swayle below it and provided another access point to the rest
of the back yard.
Normally a rectangular deck can suffer from the boredom factor. But here
is a case where other factors take your mind off of the simple shape and
towards the landscaping surrounding the deck and the bridged walkway.
Were it not for these unique factors, I would have tried to change the
shape of the deck a bit to make it more interesting because it would then
be the only focal point.
This new vinyl deck was a huge improvement - from a maintenance and a
design point of view.
The vinyl decking surface would now be waterproof, maintenance free
and eliminate the worry about rotting deck boards.
Notice the color of the vinyl decking material was soft and didn't clash
with the color of the house. The overall size of the deck was about 25%
larger and nestled in nicely over the upwardly sloping grade beneath it
- making better use of that previously unused land.
The other benefit to vinyl decks like this one is that they can handle
huge temperature swings during the summer and winter months. Snow can easily
be cleared off with a plastic snow shovel, ensuring the vinyl surface remains
impenetrable to water for many years to come.
So there you go. A design approach to building a deck on an uphill slope using some advanced building materials.
Is Vinyl Decking For You?
You may wish to check out some of the reputable companies in the business of installing vinyl decking. Duradek is a veteran in this business. But these other companies are steeped in experience as well.