Though it may not look like it in the photo, our clients live in the middle of a busy subdivision in Oshawa, Ontario. With so many backyards adjacent to theirs, privacy was a paramount concern in the design of their new deck, which we completed in April 2016.

The tall glass privacy panels on the highest level of the deck are one its key elements. They are made from 10mm frosted glass and surround the kitchen and stepped-down dining areas to create an open yet intimate feel. The frosted glass satisfies privacy concerns but still allows for plenty of natural light to encompass the deck, avoiding the "wall-like" impression that opaque panels would have created. LED lights installed under each panel light them up in the evening to make the space appear larger and less defined by the surrounding walls.

Our clients didn’t want to spend a lot of their time maintaining their new backyard living area, so we clad the 4x4 PT posts supporting the glass panels with one-piece composite post sleeves. The posts are securely bolted to the deck frame, which in turn is supported by helical piles. The beams spanning the tops of the posts are clad with PVC trim that closely matches the color of the composite post sleeves.

There’s also a curved aerial beam that mirrors the shape of the convex steps leading down to the fire-pit area. We laid out the curves on 2x10s, cut the curved sections out, and then laminated them together in a three-board, 4 ½-inch-high stack. To produce the nearly 16-foot-long beam, we had to work in sections, overlapping the joints as we clamped the assembly together. Then we heat-formed lengths of PVC trim for the top and bottom of the beam, and finished the sides and ends with heated PVC trim, as well.

We used Trex Transcend capstock composite decking, trimming the edge of the deck with contrasting PVC fascia and risers. We installed the decking in multiple directions to differentiate the various functional areas on the multi-level deck, and linked the deck to the hardscaped area with a pair of curved staircases. A contrasting color for the treads and subtle LED lighting in all the posts and risers ensures a safe transition between areas.

We framed the outdoor kitchen cabinet substructure with steel and finished it with Fusion Stone natural stone veneer. The kitchen cabinets are topped with solid granite, while the backsplash is trimmed with PVC. The kitchen components—including the grill, refrigerator, and storage cabinet—are from Napoleon and Saber.