Get your dream deck

How to get the right backyard retreat for your house.

The tree hugger
The tree hugger
We all dream of a deck that's unique to a place - our place, that is. But imagine taking that ideal so far as to build one only with materials native to your surroundings.

The owners of this North Carolina house located on a riverbank in the Appalachian Mountains did just that. They used intersecting bark-covered laurel twigs instead of standard square balusters, and locust logs, which are durable outdoors even when untreated, for the posts of the 42-inch-high railing.

The flat handrail is local cypress that's been stained, and the deck floorboards are indigenous pine that's been pressure-treated to resist rot. The railing posts are set inside the perimeter of the deck rather than along the outside.

While placing posts this way eats into the usable square footage somewhat, it preserves the deck's clean lines when seen from the backyard by allowing for an unbroken ribbon of fascia boards along the outer rim of the deck.

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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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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices 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.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.