Focus on good design and clever construction

This cedar rooftop deck (left and above) built by Decks by Dan has a backyard feel amidst the glass, steel, and masonry of the Chicago skyline.

Brooklyn, N.Y.€“based Ethan Ames, Builder surfaced the rooftop at left with tiles made from recycled tires. The stainless steel aircraft cable in the upper railings can withstand the 60-mph to 80-mph winds ­that are routine 20 stories up.

Trex Brasilia decking forms the floor of an outdoor living space in New York City (above). The builder, Deck Master Company of Staten Island, N.Y., also built the deck at left, by installing ipe over heavy-gauge rubber and 5/4x6 pressure-treated sleepers. — Laurie Elden