Get your dream deck

How to get the right backyard retreat for your house.

Mountain views
Mountain views
The deck design mimics the undulating curves of the mountain view and the home's own rear facade, which is concave. Deck boards made of ipe, an ultra-dense Brazilian hardwood, do not demand annual resealing and handily shrug off kids, pets, and dragged chairs.

Mindful that the site's original deck and arbor blocked the fabulous vista, designer/builder Gary Marsh specified the steel railing, which is powder-coated to resist rust, because it practically disappears into the landscape when seen from a distance.

"It's an illusion, of course," says Marsh, who conceived the space. "It's quite sturdy."