Old House Journal

Can a Deck Be Compatible?

Porches are part of the architecture, patios disappear at grade. But decks are in-between, with a floor and often integrated with the exterior, yet without historic precedent before the mid-20th century.

Whether an added deck is beautiful or ugly will be determined by its design and the materials used. Design encompasses its location, size, relationship to the house, and such details as the railing—plus practical considerations having to do with sight lines, drainage, and construction details that assure longevity. A deck doesn’t have to look out of place, even on a period house, as long as proportions and details are done well.

RAIL OR balustrade

This is Flat, horizontal rails are a contemporary default and don’t belong on a traditional house.

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