Durability is in the Details for the Outdoor Deck

Over the last century, taste in outdoor structures has evolved from the traditional covered porch to the open outdoor deck. An open deck is obviously subject to the elements in a way that a roofed porch is not, and its expected service much reduced because of that fact. Victorian roofed porches over a century old are still performing with minimal maintenance while mid century open decks have required full replacement at least once. How can we address these durability issues and extend the useful lifespan of the outdoor deck structure?

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Durability is in the Details for the Outdoor Deck

Historic Victorian Porch or Modern Deck - - Which is it?

This historic Victorian porch restoration had us guessing for a while. Every architectural era is defined by the contemporary lifestyle and building technology, but every once in a while we encounter a building that jumps the rail, so to speak, into another era. An example is this surprising Victorian residence in Somerville. Note the modern feel to the 8 foot deep unroofed deck. That can’t be Victorian! It looks like a modern deck addition.

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Historic Victorian Porch or Modern Deck - - Which is it?

CANTILEVERED DECK - - URBAN PRIVACY

This floating, cantilevered deck furnishes a unique and private outdoor urban space in North Cambridge. We have seen the need for increased space in a limited footprint drive some unusual construction solutions, of which this deck is an extreme example. So extreme that it almost didn’t happen as it ran into engineering and zoning issues that nearly caused the owner to abandon the project.

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 CANTILEVERED DECK - - URBAN PRIVACY

MODERN SCREEN PORCH SYSTEM

Before the advent of air conditioning, screened porches were provided as cool sleeping areas, as well as places to relax outdoors. Traditionally, it was considered healthful to sleep in the cold night air, even into the late fall. You need not agree with the medical value of this assertion to embrace the pleasures of a screened living area. Note the depth of this addition, more an outdoor living room than a shallow “sitting” porch. The design and trim detail is traditional, and fully in keeping with the Queen Anne style (Victorian) main house. What is not traditional is the screen system itself, which has become more flexible and adaptable, due to modern lightweight materials and functional design.

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MODERN SCREEN PORCH SYSTEM