HomeOutdoor Living BlogExplore Low Deck Ideas for High-Style Design

Explore Low Deck Ideas for High-Style Design

July 28, 2021
Low deck ideas with high style by TimberTech

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. 

Benefits of low deck ideas include an often easier DIY build

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.  

Platform Deck

Low deck ideas include platform decks

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.  

Low deck ideas include a picture frame border

Choose a Picture Frame Border

 Add visual interest to your platform deck with a picture frame border. Picture frame borders can be made with one, two, or three boards around the perimeter.  

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 

Low deck ideas include 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.  

Statement making low deck ideas

From the bold and saturated to the light and bright, discover deck color ideas to create your perfect deck.  EXPLORE 

Furniture & Décor  

Low deck ideas for furniture and decor

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.  

Low deck ideas for stylish decor

Showcase Your Style With Décor  

Choose a color theme for your furniture and décor that complements your home’s interior to create a fluid feel from indoors to outdoors.  

But be sure to choose outdoor-rated furniture to ensure peak performance.

Deck Board Patterns & Colors 

Low deck ideas for deck board patterns and color combinations

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.  

Do Diagonals 

Diagonal deck boards draw the eye outward, making narrow spaces appear wider. Plus, they add visual interest to your deck design. Keep in mind that diagonals (and all deck board patterns) have specific substructure requirements to ensure the boards are laid correctly. 

Low deck ideas include diagonal decking
Low deck ideas include color blocking your deck surface

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 

Low deck ideas for wraparound decks

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 for a fluid design

Low Deck Ideas With Built-In Features 

Low deck ideas with built-in features

Consider low deck ideas with built-in features to add dimension — and functionality — to your build.  

Low deck ideas with built-in bench and planter box

Add a Built-In Bench & Planter Box 

Make seating part of your deck’s design with built-in benches made from the same durable TimberTech® deck boards under your feet.  

You can also create a dedicated space for greenery, while still keeping floor space open, with a built-in planter.   

Multi-Level Low Deck 

Multi-level low decks have greater dimension

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.  

Embrace dimensionality with a multi-level deck

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.  

Choose glass panels for a modern railing infill

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.  

Low decks need elevated substructures

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. 

Low decks may require railing depending on their height

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 on low deck designs

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.  

Always refer to your chosen decking product’s installation guidelines before starting your build. EXPLORE INSTALLATION GUIDES 

Choose TimberTech for a Long-Lasting, Enduringly Beautiful Deck 

Choose TimberTech for a long-lasting, enduringly beautiful low 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.  

See & feel the TimberTech advantage

Our capped PVC and capped composite decking lines combine recycled material with all the beauty of traditional wood.

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