We would like to build a small deck in our small backyard but it's in a very sunny part of our yard. Typical deck books have traditional gazebo looking structures but we would like to have something that fits better with the Eichler architecture.
Getting a sunshade canopy/top design over the deck seems to be the biggest design problem- something that looks nice but still provides adequate shade. Can anyone share photos of their own design or point me in the direction of deck design books and resources?
Thanks in advance, Lynn in Palo Alto
We have also struggled with this one. We do not want a deck, but have toyed with the idea of building an arbor off of the master bedroom, since it has SE exposure and gets bright and hot early in the morning. We too, looked at deck and arbor books and they were pretty useless, since the styles were all so ornate and traditional. Another decision you will need to make is whether or not to bolt it to the house. Some say "yes-fasten it to the beams" and others say "no." Perhaps Jon Cooke could jump in on this one and give us an opinion.
One place to check for ideas would be Jerry Ditto's Eichler book, if you have not already done so. P 94 has a nice arbor -- though I have not decided how Eichler compatible it is --- You can at least see what one would look like. To make it waterproof, you can nail those solid plastic panels over it. They don't really show, but you can use them to block or filter the sun. Just an idea. Also, P65 in same shows a nice open-style wood coverage over the middle of an atrium. At least these give you an idea as to the geometry that others have chosen for their eichlers.
I don't think I have your e-mail address anymore, but if you send me a message to cathyelynn AT earthlink DOT net, I can e-mail you a photo of another Eichler arbor that someone on this site was kind enough to send me when I inquired about this a few years ago.
Other things to consider:
Large potted anything, even a tree.
I have a homemade brick pot about 28" in dia and about 3 feet high. The bottom 4 inches is concrete and has a ABS pipe that is about 4 feet high stuck into it. Then filled the rest of it with dirt.
Have applied dirt to the sides where the bricks at an angle leave cubbies. That was then planted with Irish moss and the whole thing looks like it's been there since the begining of time.
A drip line waters it from the drip system.
The ABS pipe holds the 8 foot umbrella. Have forgotten to lower the umbrella and it does "float" up, but hasn't taken off... :)
The top layer of bricks is wide enough to place drinks and even plates on. Next modification will be to widen the top layer with the addition of red concrete toppers used to top off cinder block walls.
This "pot" has native poppies growing and flowers most of the year.
Since you are going to make a wooden deck, my design would be too heavy, but you could make a hole and have it directly on the soil.