Get your dream deck

How to get the right backyard retreat for your house.

Make your backyard shine
Make your backyard shine
Putting a deck on your house is perhaps the easiest way to increase your living space. It's a solid investment in a home's equity, so carefully consider how your deck will look and perform over the long term.

Today, designers and builders are conjuring up lavish decks of durable hardwoods or eco-friendly composites that curve sinuously around built-in spas or make room for beyond-the-barbecue cooking spaces. Decks are becoming more hospitable, too, with well-lit dining areas, portable heat lamps, and sofas covered in water- and fade-resistant fabrics.

A swooping steel railing follows the dramatic curve of this deck in Marin County, California, where a semicircular built-in seating area beckons guests to gather. Tucked beside the railing, barrel-shaped deck lights salvaged from an old ship help illuminate the space at night.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11
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)

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.

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.