Designing Multi-Level Decks: Tips and Ideas

The allure of extending living spaces into the outdoors has never been more potent. When considering your options for outdoor living enhancements, multi-level decks stand out as a remarkably versatile and dynamic solution. These structures create distinct and sheltered dining, relaxation, and entertainment areas. With their ability to add visual interest and depth to any outdoor space, multi-level decks have become a coveted feature for homeowners looking to create a more engaging and usable outdoor environment. Deckscapes is here to show you why and give you our expert insight so that your double-decker deck in Northern Virginia is a smashing success.

Multi-level deck in Leesburg, VA by Deckscapes of Virginia

Understanding the Appeal of Multi-Level Decks

The appeal of multi-level decks lies in their unique ability to transform a singular outdoor space into a multi-functional area that caters to multiple purposes. This architectural feature creates an elegant transition between the home and the garden while offering an effective way to utilize the natural slope of a yard. The distinct levels can mirror the home's aesthetics, creating a cohesive look or introducing new materials and styles to add contrast and interest. By designating different levels for specific purposes — such as a lower level for dining near the garden and an upper level closer to the home for lounging and entertainment — homeowners can enjoy a seamless flow between activities without the constraints of a single-level space. 

Considerations Before Designing a Multi-Level Deck

Assessment of Outdoor Space

Understanding your outdoor space's size, slope, and orientation is crucial. Multi-level decks are particularly suited to sloped yards where they can create flat, usable areas that seamlessly integrate with the natural terrain. However, multi-level decks can introduce depth and interest even in flat landscapes, creating defined areas for different activities.

Multi-level deck and screened-in porch with curved railings on flat landscape by Deckscapes of Virginia


Determining the main function of your deck is essential. Will it be a space primarily for dining, entertaining, or relaxing? Perhaps a combination of these? The answer will guide the design, helping you decide how many levels are needed and how you will use them.

Legal Considerations

Before any construction begins, it’s essential to be aware of local building codes, permits required, and any restrictions that might affect the design of your deck. This step ensures your project is compliant and avoids legal complications. Working with a design-build outdoor remodeling professional like Deckscapes means we take on this responsibility and ensure your deck is built to local code with every necessary permit.

Privacy and Accessibility

Consider how you can optimize through the design of your multi-level deck. Also, consider accessibility between the levels and from the home to the deck to ensure a seamless and comfortable flow throughout the space.

Drone view of multi-level deck with staircases between levels by Deckscapes of Virginia

Design Tips for Multi-Level Decks

Creating Covered Spaces

Covered areas such as louvered pergolas provide shelter from the elements, allowing the deck to be enjoyed across more seasons. These structures can add an architectural feature to the deck while defining different areas for diverse uses.

Utilizing the Space Below with Underdeck Drainage

The space beneath can offer additional outdoor living opportunities for decks elevated from the ground. Incorporating an underdeck drainage system can transform this often-overlooked area into a dry, usable patio space, perfect for entertaining or relaxing away from the heat of the day. Doubling your usable space can be a game-changer for your outdoor experience.

Underdeck living space with three ceiling fans above and curved retaining wall by Deckscapes of Virginia

Customization Options

A flat roof deck can provide a solution for homes with limited space between the deck floor and overhead windows. This innovative approach allows the roof to serve as a cover for the space below and a balcony or additional outdoor area above. Using a design-build deck firm to create a bespoke multi-level deck means your final product will be tailored to your preferences and your home's unique constraints and opportunities.

Material Selection

Choosing the right materials is key to your deck's long-term enjoyment and maintenance. Deckscapes of Virginia is a Trex Platinum Pro, meaning we are experts in everything this fine composite decking offers. Composite decking materials offer durability and low maintenance compared to traditional wood without sacrificing beauty. The variety of colors and textures available can complement any home style, making it a popular choice for multi-level decks.

Integration with Landscape

Consider how your multi-level deck can harmonize with the existing landscape. Integrating planters, incorporating native plants, and using materials that echo the natural surroundings can help the deck feel like a natural extension of the yard.

Curious about the cost of your outdoor living space? Run your numbers with our custom cost calculator.

Screened in porch exterior on multi-level deck by Deckscapes of Virginia

Incorporating Additional Features

Screened Porches and Pergolas

Incorporating a screened porch on one level of your deck can offer a bug-free zone for dining and relaxing, making your outdoor space more versatile. Pergolas, on the other hand, add architectural interest and provide a framework for climbing plants, creating a lush, natural canopy.

Outdoor Lighting

Strategic lighting is essential for extending the usability of your deck into the evening. LED deck lights, solar post caps, and string lights can add ambiance and ensure safety by illuminating steps and walkways.

Deck rail lights at twilight in Northern Virginia by Deckscapes of VA

Outdoor Kitchens and Fireplaces

An outdoor kitchen on one level of your deck can transform your outdoor living space into an entertainer’s dream. Pair it with a cozy fireplace or fire pit on another level for warmth and a perfect gathering spot on chilly evenings.

Custom Railings and Stairs

Railings and stairs serve a functional purpose while offering an opportunity to add design flair to your deck. Consider materials and designs that complement your home’s aesthetic, from modern cable systems to composite railings.

White staircase leading up to multi-level deck and outdoor kitchen by Deckscapes of Virginia

Deckscapes of Virginia Builds Your Dream Double-decker Deck 

Multi-level decks allow homeowners to maximize their outdoor space, creating distinct areas for various activities while seamlessly blending with the natural landscape. The design possibilities are endless, from covered spaces that provide shelter and comfort to custom features that cater to individual lifestyles.

As you consider the endless potential of a multi-level deck for your home, remember that the key to a successful project lies in thorough planning and collaboration with professionals who can bring your vision to life. Deckscapes of Virginia specializes in crafting these bespoke outdoor living spaces throughout Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun Counties. Ready to transform your backyard into a multi-dimensional outdoor oasis? Contact Deckscapes of Virginia today. Let’s turn your dream outdoor living space into a reality.


Back to Blog