Deck & Carport Designs

Creating well-planned deck and carport areas makes almost any home more user friendly. A simple deck for outdoor dining expands indoor living space, and, when it's raining, a very basic carport is a welcome space for unloading groceries or dealing with small children. By driving around upscale neighborhoods in your city, you can get a firsthand look at what looks appropriate in terms of design and materials.

Match House Design

Relaxing on a deck is appealing to almost every homeowner.

The design of any outdoor structure should complement the house. From any perspective -- looking back at the house from a distance -- you want the deck areas and carport to blend with house architecture versus standing out in any way. An exterior structure that is overly large, painted too brightly or built in an inferior fashion will devalue the house by thousands of dollars. Build deck or carport designs that will look original to the house construction.

Plan Deck Square Footage

Deck size and various levels will enhance visual appeal and landscaping. Don't plan a deck that covers most of the backyard lawn area, for instance. Instead, use decking, a stone patio and other landscaping materials in the space. An oversize deck built on one level will overpower the house structure. Sketch multiple layers for deck areas with connecting steps, as one alternative, to help break up the space visually.

Match Roof Architecture

Roof lines of the home should fit with a carport roof. If the carport is attached, plan its roof design to adjoin the house roof seamlessly. If you attach a carport with a flat roof to a gabled-roof colonial home, for example, build the carport to match house architecture. For instance, design and build carport overhangs that match the home's overhangs perfectly. If the house has generous overhangs with specific moldings, give this same look to the carport overhangs.

Hardware Is a Main Factor

Building materials will impact the overall design of any structure. For example, a flat carport roof covered with metal is much less appealing than an A-frame roof with cedar shakes. Select ideal materials for a carport or deck, but scale back to fit the real budget. The quality of hardware used is critical for a good outcome. Bolt either a deck or a carport to actual house framing. During a storm, for example, a structure easily can wrench loose from house framing if only screws are used.

Blend All Exterior Structures

Avoid any clashing between the deck and carport, creating each to look harmonious with the house and surrounding property and any other outdoor buildings. Use graph paper to define every detail before construction begins. For example, place a deck on one side of the house and a carport on the other in most instances. Placing both on one side of the house can create a cluttered look.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.