Get your dream deck

How to get the right backyard retreat for your house.

Function and style
Function and style
Large boulders were set against the front of the deck to help slow erosion. They also enabled the owners to use a low sitting wall instead of a view-blocking railing along the perimeter, since the distance from the deck to the ground (here, the top of the boulders) is less than 18 inches, the height at which local building code requires a rail.

Like deck boards and railings, outdoor furniture should be chosen as much for weather-worthiness as for looks. Here, the white dining chairs look like wicker but are actually made from a durable and easy-to-clean resin. For colored plastic furniture, be sure to specify a UV-resistant coating to prevent fading.

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The pros and cons of the various materials you can use to build your dream deck (more)
A deck can handle even the rowdiest parties as long as the beam that carries the floor joists is properly bolted to the side of the house. (more)
See the rest of the photo series here. (more)
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.