Porches, decks

Published on March 26th, 2014 | by Henri

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Building 2nd-story deck without blocking sun

Q.  I have purchased your book after following your posts with great interest; it is a very valuable resource for homeowners.

We just moved recently in a house on a sloping lot; it is two-story house in the back, but only one on the street side.

My question is about how can I build a deck on the back of the house? Building it across the entire back of my house, as I would like to do, will block sunlight to the lower level, which faces south and is finished and lived in.

A.    There are two possibilities. If the lower level only has a few windows, you can leave portions of the deck that would block the sunlight open. Make the openings wide enough to allow sunlight as the sun travels across the horizon. A railing will need to be built around these openings.

But if the majority of the lower level has many windows and sliding patio doors, the best option would be to build the deck away from the house and connected to it with a bridge. This is probably the best way to go about it anyway, and it can be made quite attractive and interesting.

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