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Second Story Deck Ideas for Your Backyard

High deck ideas with staircase and pergola

Hi friends,

After building the floating deck, our backyard has become the place where we want to hang out. Whether it's cooking and eating something, playing, or simply chatting, we always have a great time there. The electronics are left inside, which means quality time for the entire family.

The thing is, we have loved this space so much so, that we're now considering building a larger deck, a second story deck like the ones I'm sharing with you today.

In order to reach the backyard we have to go down throughout the basement, which is kind of annoying, especially when bringing food out. It would be way easier having a deck right outside the kitchen area.

So, I'm getting ideas and trying to get a head start on this project. There are so many things to put into consideration! And no, I'm not DIY'ing this. It's way to big of a project for me.

Let me show you these beautiful ideas and the things I'm trying to decide. 

This Small Deck from BHG is probably what I need in my backyard. It's on the smaller side, our house is longer and almost completely flat.
Should I keep the staircase straight...

Or maybe placing it across the front like in this deck from DW Elite Decks. I like the pergola here, something I like to have on my deck.

Here again, another way to address the staircase by Long Island Decking @

Well, here's another way! Right in the center and then to the side, from Maryland Deck Builders.

Right now I'm not planning anything for under the deck. But, in the future I would love to have a space like this from Decorating by Lisa. And hey, another way to set the staircase. ;)
white second story deck with underneath family area and back staircase

The deck platform also needs consideration. It can be round, square, straight, etc. This picture below that, by the way I couldn't find its source (let me know if you find out), has a pergola right in the middle, I think is kind of neat.

The posts and ledger on this deck by Decks with Style got my attention. I like the arches.

This small outdoor area from RuggedThug is so cozy! Love the deck/pergola design and the hot tub. So cool!

This next picture from Deck r Us is more or less what I want to see when I get out of the kitchen and onto my deck. A pergola with a simple deck design + a staircase to the backyard.

Now, if you want to DIY your second story deck, you gotta go see How to build a freestanding deck from One Project Closer. They have tons of details, and videos on how to do it.
complete instructions on how to build a second story deck with staircase - videos and step by step instructions

Lastly, here is this deck that I also love and that's located right here in the same neighborhood I live.
second story deck pergola and storage shed underneath

high deck ideas with staircase and pergola

Do you have a second story deck? Any recommendations on what to add, what not to? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. I think the rectangular or square designs look better than ones with "cut corners" or octagonal plus the simpler design would probably make it easier to place your outdoor furniture, grill, etc. Sometimes those more unique shapes can look dated after awhile. The fancier staircases that turn look nice, but those turns and landings will add to the cost, so a straight-down staircase would be my choice.
    We had a new deck built onto the back of our house several years ago using Lowe's ChoiceDek materials. It's not elevated, but you might want to read about our process as it might bring up some ideas you haven't considered. I had a blog at the time and the ChoiceDek folks saw my post that mentioned their product and asked to feature our deck on their web site. We were not in any way compensated by them nor did we get a discount, so my "testimonial" here is truly sincere. Our deck still looks great (just 2 years so far) and we are glad we chose that product.Here is the link
    I also wrote about it on HomeTalk at
    As for the pergola idea, that will really add a nice look to your deck! My husband designed and built a cantilevered pergola over our deck. We didn't want to put holes in the floor, thus the cantilever design. You can read about it and see photos and a materials list here
    I look forward to seeing more about your deck and other projects!
    Sue P.

    1. Sue, Thanks so much for your input on this! I think I agree with you on everything. I went over to Hometalk to check your deck and wow, what a difference it made! The entire yard looks bigger with the new deck. Now, that pergola your husband built is a showstopper. Kudos to him for such a nice job!
      I didn't know about ChoiceDek materials, but I'll be adding them to my list. Hey, good interview. ;)
      Again, thank you so much. My project is gonna take some time, I'll be doing my homework without any rush. ;)

  2. Love all of these ideas. The homeowners did an amazing job. If you need a practice session installing a pergola, come on over! I'd take any one of the pergolas in this post. Plus---I'd love to have you around for a few days!!! XO Susie from The Chelsea Project

  3. My vote is for the BHG and RuggedThig designs! Simple yet efficient and you'd be able to use the underneath space! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

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