The needs of each particular family determine the functionality of a terrace.
We must consider how we plan to spend our time on the deck. We will build it to suit its purpose, whether that be an office for hosting clients or a leisure space for relaxation and enjoyment. No matter what the terrace will be used for, the deck designer should keep a few points in mind.
In the case of designing a deck for a house that has not been built yet, our creative opportunity is even greater as far as function and style. The possibilities are endless as this versatile outdoor space may be used for many different activities like working or cooking meals on a grill and also for others like rest and relaxation.
In which direction should the porch or deck face?
Porch or deck positioning in relation to the planet should aim to take advantage of the largest possible quantity of sunlight during the times it will be used most. If the deck or porch is intended to be used for work during the daytime, using a laptop on a table, it is better to be on the Eastern side of the home. However, if the terrace is intended for use in the afternoon, it is better to place it on the south-western side of your home. Too much sunshine while working or hanging out should never be a concern as a deck designer can always include a trellis or other structure for shade and even for climbing plants.
To roof or not to roof?
A porch that will be treated as a living space and used frequently may be more usable if it has a roof. A deck designer in Chicago would certainly prefer allowing as much light as possible to enter in winter and may therefore choose a removable roof or a one that allows more light through as fall approaches (like a trellis or pergola covered in climbing plants that will lose their leaves for winter). The addition of a roof when deck building also provides protection from the rain, making it even more valuable. When there is a roof over the terrace, there is no need to move furnishings like chairs and tables when inclement weather rolls in.
All decks should include a slope that most importantly dips away from the house. Any puddle that forms beneath a building wall may cause dampness in the wall itself. Water will likely roll right off any deck that has at least 2% slope. This percentage is sufficient to make sure the surface is not at risk of standing water. Knowing to what level groundwater rises can also be helpful. If groundwater rises rather high, it may be a good idea to install a foundation on which the deck will be built. If this is the case, a slab terrace directly on the ground may not be such a great idea for something that lasts.