Your Guide to All Types of Decks: How To Choose a Deck for Your Home

About a quarter of new homes built have a deck included in the initial construction. However, this leaves the vast majority of homes without a deck for enjoying the outdoors. If you own one of these homes without a deck, then isn’t it time you build one?

With a deck added to your property, you can start enjoying the outdoors more. You could serve meals, entertain, cook, or relax with a good book.

This guide will explain the different types of decks and why you would choose one type over another for your deck project.

The Different Types of Decks

Deck materials are the easiest way to classify the different types of decks. The material you choose will directly affect the durability, maintenance requirements, and budget needed to build it.


There was a time when redwood and cedar were your only options for building a wood deck. Today, you have more wood choices:

  • Pressure-treated
  • Cedar
  • Redwood
  • Ipe

Natural wood is a great choice because it’s natural, durable, and feels great. Its downside is that it requires the most amount of maintenance. You’ll need to clean and re-seal it.

Pressure-treated wood is the most affordable, but it’s also potentially toxic from the chemicals used to treat it. Redwood and Cedar look beautiful and are resistant to bugs. However, they’re softwoods that can get easily damaged.

Ipe is a hardwood from Central and South America that resists rotting, bugs, wear, splintering, and fire. However, it’s also the most expensive wood option.


Composite decking material is the alternative to natural wood. It’s made from a blend of plastic and wood fibers. This makes it resistant to rotting and wear but also closely resembles natural wood in appearance. You may not even be able to tell the difference when looking at completed decks.

You can choose the color you want and never need to stain or paint your deck. The yearly maintenance is also minimal. An occasional gentle wash and scrub are all you need. A light pressure wash will remove the mildew.

The installation is cleaner looking with a composite deck. Wood decks leave the hardware holding it together visible. The clips, deck screws, and fasteners are all hidden for a seamless look with a composite deck.


Decking material made from PVC is 100% recyclable and won’t stain, rot, or fade. It’s the most affordable option, but it’s also obvious that your deck is made from plastic. You’ll want to be careful in hot or sunny climates as it can get very hot.

Similar to composite, PVC deck material comes in a variety of colors and requires minimal maintenance.

Different Styles of Decks

Another way to look at deck types is by the style of the build. Consider how you want your deck to look and what you plan to use it for.


This is a traditional style of deck and often called a wraparound porch. Unlike a porch, though, your deck can have varying shapes and levels. The benefit of this style deck is that it gives you plenty of usable outdoor space and is easily accessed from more than one entry point in your home.


If your property has hills or isn’t perfectly level, then you have the perfect setup for a multi-tier deck. You’ll build one level that’s attached to your house and level with your exterior doors.

Then there are steps that lead up or down to another flat deck area. You could have multiple levels of different sizes to suit different uses. This style of deck tends to be quite large and requires a larger budget than other deck styles.


An attached deck is one that’s built directly off of your home. You’ll be able to open the exterior door of your home and step directly onto your deck. They’re typically a square, rectangle, L, or U shape.


If you have a large backyard, you could build a deck that’s detached from your home. This is a floating deck level that’s accessed by a path or walkway. These decks are perfect for creating usable areas on your property that have poor drainage.

You can make your detached platform as large or small as you want. This makes it ideal for homeowners with limited budgets or property.


If you live in a remote area or one with a stunning view, consider building a rooftop deck. These are built on top of your home and can give you a panoramic view of your property. This style isn’t great for a home built in a neighborhood or one with local building code restrictions.

What Deck Should I Use?

Before you decide what type of deck you should use, you should decide on a patio vs. deck. A patio is a paved area that sits directly on the ground. A deck is a structure that’s more like a platform above the ground.

Patio materials are typically concrete, pavers, or stone. They are more expensive and labor-intensive to build. If this doesn’t sound like the right choice for you, then moving forward with deck building plans is the right move.

Choosing a Deck Type

When considering your building material options, consider your climate, environment, deck size, budget, and willingness to perform maintenance. This will help you narrow down which material is right for your project.

Design Your Deck Today

Which one of these types of decks will look best and be the most functional for your home? You could even combine the styles for a customized look. If you have any doubt, it’s best to speak with an expert who has experience building decks.

They can assess your home and desired use. Then they will create the perfect deck solution that fits your budget.

Contact our knowledgeable team today and let us help you design the deck of your dreams.