deck with overhead structure
Photo: Brian C. Robbins Photograhy Inc.
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The Privacy Preserver

Overhead structures can offer shade from the baking sun, and airy walls provide privacy from too-near neighbors. The open lattice fence on this deck in Marietta, Georgia, designed and built by Dave Tibbetts, helps the homeowners claim their space while also letting light and breezes pass through. Should the family eventually desire something less transparent, they could add climbing vines. Encouraging vines to grow on the pergola above could transform the structure from one that not only creates an intimate sense of enclosure but also offers shelter from light summer rain showers. In conjunction with the side railing and the back wall of the house, the lattice fence forms a U shape that also helps direct attention to a centerpiece in the yard: an outdoor fireplace set into the stone patio that the homeowners like to gather around. Tibbetts suggests considering such focal points before you build. "Look around your yard and try to find the prettiest thing—a prized planting area, a stream—then orient the deck in a such a way that you focus on it."
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