Homeowners are usually looking for ways to add livable space to their house. The desire is often to add outdoor living areas. The common method for adding outdoor living space is to install a first-story deck or patio. However, if you have a multi-story house, you have even more potential space for increasing your outdoor living space in the form of an upper-story deck.
That said, as with any home addition, you have many considerations to keep in mind. You’ll want to consult with local contractors about building codes and engineering. Indeed, you should hire contractors to do the work as your second-floor deck needs to be architecturally sound. Below are some style practicalities to also add during the planning stage.
House Style and Façade
One of the biggest challenges when adding a home addition is to keep the addition cohesive with the rest of the house. Therefore, the first step in planning your second-floor deck is to observe the façade of your house. Don’t just rely on your memory —stand outside and observe the exterior of your house.
Take note of its specific architectural style. Such styles often have design requirements, and your second-story addition will be more cohesive if you adhere to them. For example, Tudor architecture is characterized by featuring multiple rooflines. You may want to design a second-floor deck that adds another roofing profile to such a façade.
Adding a second-story deck adds usable living space if you design it correctly. An important consideration is access. You should evaluate the second floor living space of your home and determine what area can best benefit from an extension to the outdoors. A master bedroom is the common choice.
Once you have chosen the room, think about the specific location of the deck. For the interior, the access location needs to be both convenient and attractive. You want the access door to complement the room’s architecture while making sense with your lifestyle. For instance, don’t locate the door near the entrance to the bathroom if that might interrupt the flow of foot traffic.
Placement is also important for the exterior. The goal is to make the second-story deck addition look like it was part of the original house plan. Therefore, you need to locate it — and size it — so there’s a seamless transition between the façade and the deck. Consider locating the deck where it provides a ceiling over another useful space, such as the entryway or a patio.
Solid Surface Deck
One of the biggest choices you’ll make is in the materials for the second-story deck. As with any deck, you have many options. However, unlike with a first-floor deck, maintenance on a second-floor addition is tricky. You don’t want to choose a material that’s going to require much upkeep. To that end, consider a solid surface, which is water-tight and requires little maintenance.
With a solid surface deck, the contractors frame out the structure so it is architecturally sound. From there, they can use one of two methods — a cementitious or liquid-urethane system— to create that solid surface, which makes the deck water-tight and low-maintenance.
With either system, you can customize the surface with color or texture. The contractors can even make the surface resemble another material. The benefit of a solid surface choice is that you can get a deck that’s customized to complement your house in a material that’s durable and long-lasing.
Keep the look of your second-floor deck addition cohesive with the rest of your house. Consult with SUNVEK to learn about your options in finishing your upper-story deck with a solid surface.