Deck Designing: Part One

One of the things we are the most excited about for our renovation project is adding the deck! Outdoor space is such a rare and precious benefit in New York and we can’t wait to have this as part of our space. We’re happy to say that as of this week it’s designed and currently in production! This was always going to be one of the last parts of the project so it’s a big milestone.

Quite a bit of preparation has gone into the site. We demolished a small mudroom extension off the back of the building to make room for the deck (among other things). That’s gone and a fence is up along the neighbors yard in its place. We still need to work out how to finished the slab where the mudroom was that will be under the deck for our tenants patio. Most likely we’re going to have to remove some strange cement features so that we can grade the slab and let it drain into the soil.

Designing the deck with our contractor was quick because we had a really good idea of what we wanted. NYC allows decks to extend 8 feet from the back of the building and can be the width of the building as long as it’s not combustible. So the dimensions were pretty easy. We also wanted horizontal railings because we like the modern and more high-end look it gives it. So those decisions were made.

The floor of the deck was one thing we weren’t sure what to do with. We’ve seen a lot of decks in Brooklyn (mostly in developer reno’s) with tile on it. It makes for a nice outdoor living room feel. Typically it requires concrete to be laid as the base for the tile. That also adds a lot of weight and requires larger iron beams. Another option was to just leave it as diamond cut steel, but that seemed unfinished. We decided to go with a aluminum decking with a composite boards screwed in on top. We decided on Trex as we have heard great things about it. It didn’t add any additional expense to building the deck and we feel it will be a durable and attractive surface.

We also need to build access from the parlor level out to the deck. Currently there are 3 windows along the back of the building. We opted for the less expensive option of just demolishing some of the masonry below a window and putting in a glass door. We’re excited about that going in over the next few weeks.

The final part of the design is the lighting. In addition to some overhead string lights we have also added some electrical work to the backside of the Brownstone. We’re going to put have one industrial gooseneck light from Schoolhouse next to the door that should light up the whole deck space. We think this light will add the perfect balance of design and making sure the space can be accessible in the night.

Apparently it’s going to take a few weeks to fabricate offsite and then very little time to assemble onsite. Our deck is part of our overall project with our contractor and that line item is just under $25,000 including the steel fabrication, install, and decking. So this is only part ONE of our deck story! We’ll keep you posted as it starts going in!

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