deck built with materials native to surroundings
Photo: Dan Forer / Beateworks / Corbis
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The Tree Hugger

We all dream of a deck that's unique to a place—our place, that is. But imagine taking that ideal so far as to build one only with materials native to your surroundings. The owners of this North Carolina house located on a riverbank in the Appalachian Mountains did just that. They used intersecting bark-covered laurel twigs instead of standard square balusters, and locust logs, which are durable outdoors even when untreated, for the posts of the 42-inch-high railing. The flat handrail is local cypress that's been stained, and the deck floorboards are indigenous pine that's been pressure-treated to resist rot. The railing posts are set inside the perimeter of the deck rather than along the outside. While placing posts this way eats into the usable square footage somewhat, it preserves the deck's clean lines when seen from the backyard by allowing for an unbroken ribbon of fascia boards along the outer rim of the deck.
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