Flat Out Spectacular Single Level Deck Design Ideas

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If you are considering a single or ground level deck, you already know it can save you money, time, and labor. However, simple does not necessarily mean basic. In fact, a single level deck has "next level" benefits including budget, design, safety, and adaptable space. Here's some ways to make that work to your advantage.


A single level Garapa wood deck around a small artist studio surrounded by birch trees in Maine

An artist retreat in Maine featuring a Garapa ground level deck.

Find even more deck ideas and information in our brand new 61-page eBook:


FSC Machiche hardwood deck with dining and entertainment space-1Beautifully varied Machiche hardwood deck with dining and entertainment spaces with white cushions on teak furntiureBeautifully varied Machiche hardwood deck with dining and entertainment spaces


Single Level Decks are Budget Friendly

The return on your investment you can expect on a single level deck design is high since there is so much value already built in, from lower costs to lower maintenance.

  • A single level deck has a straightforward design plan and build, so you can invest your budget in higher-quality materials instead of complicated framing and construction.
  • Single level decks are easier to maintain. One flat level is a time and labor-saver for you.
  • Opt for a naturally robust and enduring hardwood decking species like Ipe, Cumaru, Machiche or Garapa, and your annual investment drops even further.
  • Hardwood decking is naturally resistant to decay, insects and other threats that damage softwood lumber and artificial decking in a shorter period and cost you money to repair.
  • For a low maintenance option, you can let your hardwood decking weather naturally to a silver gray patina, and your upkeep investment becomes downright minimal. 
  • All of this means, of course, that you have more time to enjoy your deck, which is the best return on investment of all.

Ipe deck weathered to silvery gray patinaAn Ipe deck naturally weathered to a silvery gray patina


Learn more about this low maintenance deck option:


Beautiful Deck by Design

Using naturally beautiful hardwood decking means it can be part of your deck design. Depending on your choice of wood species and finish, you can make a classic statement or a bold one.


Ipe hardwood deck in the BahamasIpe hardwood is the shining star of this deck in the Bahamas


  • Ipe hardwood decking: The top-of-the-line hardwood with beautiful graining, longevity and will naturally weather to a coveted gray patina if you choose.
  • Cumaru hardwood decking: Stunning graining and color variations for a showpiece deck. Cumaru wood also weathers to a beautiful gray if you prefer.
  • Machiche hardwood decking: Rich graining, deep color and opulent looks makes FSC® Certified Machiche a dream to use in your deck design.   
  • Garapa hardwood decking: A lighter toned and affordable decking investment option, has gorgeous graining and color variations, and can weather gray. Garapa wood  is a perfect choice for a beautiful, high-end quality deck, and still within a budget.
  • ThermoWood hardwood decking: A wood decking option that is made from native hardwoods, with improved performance and durability by 'thermally modifying' the real wood using only heat and steam. A beautiful, natural and sustainable decking option.
  • Combine species for the looks and/or the cost-savings. For example, a Garapa deck with Ipe borders is a designer look without the price.

Garapa deck with Ipe borders and trim under construction in a backyardTake advantage of colors and cost-savings with Garapa decking bordered with Ipe


Looking for the best decking material for your project?

Download the "Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Right Decking" today:



Hardwood Decking Options



Family Safety First

Single level decks are a no-brainer for families with small children, elderly parents or anyone who has difficulty with steps.


Ipe deck and custom railings maine waterfront childAn Ipe deck and custom railings make for a safe family space


  • If you are carrying out trays of food, or a family member needs help walking, single level decks are just a step outside to the party area without needing stairs.
  • Mom approved. The tumble risk is lower for kids, with less steps and a level play area.
  • Natural hardwood does not retain intense heat the way artificial decking can, so it is way more comfortable on bare feet or little posteriors.

You can find over 150 deck design ideas and photos in our new book:


Pets Love Decks, Too!

Go ahead, let them run, hardwood decking can take it.


Black lab on Ipe deck steps and plantsPet owners appreciate the wear and tear resistance aspects of hardwood decking.


  • Hardwood is naturally scratch resistant, so running and playing claws and paws will not easily damage your deck (and your investment).

  • If you ever do see a scratch from pup, (or your deck furniture), you can quickly sand it out and it looks like new.

  • Small dogs? Senior pets? Single level decks are more accessible.


The Case for Space

Sometimes, depending on the property or your lifestyle, a single level deck is your only option. But don't let that stop you for making it fabulous.


Cumaru hardwood deck Design within a compact space and use wood grain and color in your design.

  • Think outside the square and adapt your deck design to wrap along your exterior’s features, to add square footage to your living space.
  • Even in a tight space, a single level deck can extend your living area. Urban setting or suburban, extending one room outdoors can make your whole home feel more spacious.
  • If you are limited by budget or family needs right now, keep in mind that a single level deck can be the foundation for more features as your lifestyle changes. 
  • Use the design tricks with two wood species above to make any size deck look amazing with graining, patterns, and colors.


Did this information spark some ideas?  Large, small or in between, there is no shortage of ways to make a single level deck design yours, and make it amazing.

Before you go, get the 61-page 2020 Deck Design Ideas eBook for more single level deck designs inspiration along with over 150 photos.




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