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Deck Sizes: How to Choose

Timbertech deck shown in Coconut Husk
Timbertech deck shown in Coconut Husk

Choosing your deck size is an important early project planning step, and finding the right size isn’t always obvious. Standard deck sizes range between 300-400 sq.ft., but your home and outdoor living space should be so much more than average. It should reflect your home and lifestyle.

The proper size for you depends on several factors, including your home’s size and your outdoor living goals.

So, if you’re trying to budget your deck project or start drawing blueprints, here’s everything you need to confidently determine what deck sizes are right for you.

The average deck size is between 300-400 sq.ft., which is about the size of a 19’x19′ deck. Small decks start around 10’x10’, or 100 sq.ft. Large decks begin around 450 sq.ft.

Height is also an important deck size factor determined by your house design. Attached decks are typically built within two inches of the access door threshold, so raised homes sport taller decks than a ground-level home with a low-profile deck. Always confirm building requirements with your local building authority.

Of course, this can vary with multi-level decks, and you can choose your own detached deck height if you go that route. Ensure the frame is raised sufficiently from the ground based on your local building regulations and flood concerns.

At the end of the day, you’re choosing a deck size based on proportions and functionality. A common recommendation is to build a deck that’s no larger than 20% of your home’s square footage to ensure a balanced look.

Here are some guidelines comparing popular deck dimensions and comparable house sizes that fit the 20% maximum guidance, so you can consider what works for your home’s size.

Property and home size

Keeping the deck proportionate to your home and property is key for a cohesive look, and a common recommendation is to keep your deck under 20% of your home’s square footage. Another common guideline to consider is that your deck shouldn’t exceed the size of your largest room.

These recommendations help you build a deck that complements your home instead of overwhelming it, but you also shouldn’t build too small. An average-sized deck is 361 sq. ft., but it would look huge next to a 700 sq. ft. starter home and tiny next to a 2,000 sq. ft. sprawling estate.

Don’t forget to balance the deck size with your property and existing features. If you already have a large pool, cabana, work shed, and playground, a new addition can overcrowd the space.

On the other hand, you may consider a platform deck away from the house if you have a large property and want to extend your outdoor living space to the garden.

Deck purpose

How you intend to use your deck can outweigh proportions when deciding between deck sizes. Planning to enjoy late-night evenings with your family? A smaller deck under 300 sq. ft. is likely a good fit.

Want to relax by the water and host pool parties? Your pool deck depends on the pool size and how many people you’re comfortable hosting.

Factor in the maximum number of people you might invite for parties, outdoor appliances like grills, and must-have furniture based on your deck’s function to adjust your deck size needs.

Project budget

While it’s last on our list, it’s certainly not the least — your project budget can make or break what deck size you can build. Large decks naturally require more materials, precision, and installation time. These costs add up quickly, so you may have to reduce your deck size to accommodate your budget.

While size plays a part, there are fixed expenses like building permits and inspections that you’ll need to pay for regardless. With Classic Remodeling, you can review your deck with our project specialist and receive a free estimate.