Looking for low deck ideas for your backyard? Low decks are typically those that don’t require a railing (usually below 30” tall) and are often built right above ground level.
Ideal for relatively flat backyards, low decks can be built either up against your home or as a standalone structure out in your yard. While low decks have some similarities to patios, they are ultimately distinct — but can certainly be paired with a patio and play nicely off hardscaped elements.
Why Choose a Low Deck Design?
✓ Seamless transition: Connects your home and backyard.
✓ More DIY-friendly: Can be a more straightforward build to DIY thanks to its low structure.
✓ Value build: Saves you the time and cost of railing installation.
✓ Versatility: Gives you the freedom of building almost anywhere in your backyard.
Despite often being simple in structure compared to more elevated decks, low decks still exude high-style design — just take a look at these low deck ideas to see for yourself.
Also known as an island deck, platform decks are those that are not attached to another structure, like a home. They are free-standing, and when low and small enough, they may not require a permit to build. However, it is always important to check with your local building department before you begin your deck project.
Choose a Picture Frame Border
Use the same border color as your inlay for a subtle, elegant feel, or mix it up with a contrasting border for a striking look.
Richly Hued Decking
Looking for low deck ideas as bold as you are? Choose deeply saturated deck board colors for a dynamic look.
Go Bold for a Statement-Making Deck
While black composite decking may be the first richly-hued color that comes to mind, it’s not the only choice.
Saturated browns and dark grays can give you the dramatic look you crave.
Furniture & Décor
Low deck ideas with high style are about more than just your deck’s shape or color. Your choice of furniture and décor will also set your deck apart from the crowd.
Deck Board Patterns & Colors
How you orient your deck surface boards and what colors you choose all play an important role in establishing your deck’s overall look and feel. These low deck ideas focus on how color and patterns can impact your deck’s design.
Visually Divide Sections With Color
Color block your deck surface with different colors to visually demarcate sections of your deck for different uses — think dining area, gathering place, or lounge space. Choose varying shades of the same color or go bold with contrasting hues like brown with gray.
Low Wraparound Deck
A wraparound deck gives you plenty of space for functional use, without taking up too much real estate in your backyard.
Create a Fluid Design Around Your Home
Connect your deck and porch for a fluid, continuous outdoor living space. Add furniture, décor, and even built-in features like benches to keep the design interesting — and improve functionality. Be sure to stick to one color palette throughout for a cohesive look.
Low Deck Ideas With Built-In Features
Consider low deck ideas with built-in features to add dimension — and functionality — to your build.
Multi-Level Low Deck
Just because your deck is low doesn’t mean it has to be flat. Ground-level decks can have plenty of dimension with multiple levels separated by only a step or two.
Embrace Dimensionality With Levels
Create dimension with subtle height differences between sections of your deck.
Use deck boards of a contrasting color to demarcate different levels and create crisp clean borders. For even greater demarcation, use in-deck lighting to illuminate each step.
Low Deck Ideas With Railing
Low decks will require a railing if they are above 30” off the ground in most areas — if they are lower, a railing is often optional. Even if your deck doesn’t require a railing, you may still consider adding one for either practical or purely aesthetic reasons.
Practical reasons to add a railing may include:
✓ Keeping guests from stepping onto any landscaping immediately next to the deck.
✓ Protecting young children from falling off the edge.
Go Modern With Glass Panels
Glass panels in your railing give you:
✓ Clear sightlines to maintain your low deck’s open feel.
✓ A unique deck perimeter.
✓ A chic, contemporary aesthetic.
Best Practices for Installing a Low Deck
Thinking of DIY-ing your deck? While such a project is generally a more straightforward build than a raised deck, it’s still essential to ensure the deck is built correctly.
Elevate Your Substructure
Low decks shouldn’t be built directly on the ground, instead, it’s best to use frost-proof concrete footers to elevate the deck to keep the structure in place and allow for good air circulation underneath.
This prevents the traditionally wooden substructure from decaying prematurely from constant ground contact.
Check Railing Requirements
If any part of the deck is higher than 30” above ground level, it likely will require a railing; otherwise, a railing is optional.
Always check your local building codes for the exact height that requires a railing, and double check all sides of your deck to ensure no portion exceeds that height.
Use Durable Decking
Low decks are more prone to moisture-related issues due to their close proximity to the ground and limited air circulation.
For an extra level of security against moisture, be sure to use durable, moisture-resistant materials like TimberTech composite decking for a long-lasting deck.
Choose TimberTech for a Long-Lasting, Enduringly Beautiful Deck
Now that you have the low deck ideas you need to inspire your perfect outdoor living space, it’s time to start planning your build. For a deck that lasts and stays beautiful with minimal maintenance, choose TimberTech decking. With nature-inspired aesthetics and lots of color choices, we have just the right deck boards for your low deck project.
Start fine-tuning your deck design by ordering up to four free samples of our deck boards. When you get your samples, place them out in the area your deck will be built. Give them a look and feel at different times of the day to get a better sense of which will suit your space best.