A bi-level deck provides both a sunny, elevated dining area as well as a shady gathering spot.  Working around two obstacles on the exterior of our split-entry home (the electric meter and the window) inspired the design.

Step 1: Draw Up Your Plans

Make a grid of your deck plans (here are mine).  The major deck was planned to be 10' x 12' and the minor deck was 10' x 7'.  I got the permit from the City of Minneapolis around the third week of April for the deck (and it was completed almost exactly three months later).  The City needed these plans and explanation where it was in relation to the property lines before I could get the permit. 
<p>It looks great. Your post inspired me to try to add a patio cover. It would be placed on a concrete slab. Its around 10x12. I was wondering if you would have any input on how to do it. The problem which I have is the right side of the the roof which has </p><p>an angle.</p><p>Thank you.</p>
nice work and instructions as clear !&hellip;
Yes, lag bolts are imperative. <br /> Some sort of ceiling, say, of corrugated fiberglass panels, could make the patio a sheltered outdoor space when it rains. Pitch them to control runoff, by using successively thicker spacers on the undersides of the joists. Such a space comes in handy if you sometimes crave BBQ and the weather isn't cooperating, or if you just like sitting outside during a warm rain without getting wet.<br />
I have built many decks as a second job, this looks really good.&nbsp; High decks are becomeing more popular, so I usually put posts against the houses to bear the weight load and use the house&nbsp; as bracing.&nbsp; Lag bolts are always a good call too.&nbsp; Also, I run the support posts all&nbsp; the way up through the deck to add support to the railing, but that is just a personal preferance.&nbsp; You have to change the look of the railing or add 'scabs' to the outsides to match the other post-rails.&nbsp; I do like the look of the two main support posts though.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Good IBLE.
Wonderful, great project, will do this to my new house, it has a deck, but really small, will expand it out and upward like this. I agree with the lag bolts and support close to the house. My brother built a deck that didnt have support close to the house and after having so many friends and family over for cookouts, and football games, the deck added a lot of weight to the wood studs and support beams in the house... not realizing they were actually week, even though they looked good, there wasnt enough support for all the weight, the deck started to sag against the house and causing stress for those supports for the house. He had to fix everything, even his house supports......<br />
Nice Instructable with good pictures. The only thing I would add is to make sure&nbsp;to use a sufficient number of properly sized lag bolts and washers (NOT&nbsp;nails) to securely anchor the deck to&nbsp;your house.&nbsp; About a year ago a deck full of people in a town nearby separated from the house and collapsed, &nbsp;killing three people and injuring many more.&nbsp; Lag bolts are&nbsp;required by code in many&nbsp;parts&nbsp;of&nbsp;the USA,&nbsp;and&nbsp;they would be a good idea to use whenever a deck is attached to a home.&nbsp;&nbsp;
A beautiful deck and a very well written and illustrated instructable!&nbsp; <br />
Solid work.&nbsp; Really.:)<br />
What an outstanding write-up!&nbsp; Clear pictures, great documentation, and it looks like you did everything to code, with permits and all (even more awesome).<br />

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Bio: I sit at my desk at the clinic for six hours a day; often, during the middle of the day, you can find me drawing ... More »
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