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Angular decks wind you down from the back doors.

Where a narrow driveway once led up to a tiny, obsolete garage, Bonnie and Rick Eiber now have a handsome entry to their rear garden, a place to entertain, and deck access from their sunroom and kitchen.

Space between the house and property line is narrow (the old garage was sandwiched in the 17-foot-wide space) and the two back doors are at different levels. To unify the area and put it to better use, Seattle architect Luther Hintz designed a series of decks to wind down toward the garden.

A 6- by 7-foot deck off the sunroom steps down to a 6- by 12-foot deck off the kitchen. This in turn descends to a 4-foot prow-shaped level; from here it's three steps down to a 4-foot-wide boardwalk leading to the 10- by 18-1/2-foot main deck in the sunny southeast corner of the lot.

A 6-foot-high fence encloses the garden. With gate latched, it becomes a free run for the Eibers' small daughter.

To form screens, the architect installed commercially made 1- by 8-foot interlocking panels on 4-by-4 cedar posts. Panels are of cedar 1 by 2's spaced 1/2 inch apart and held with vertical 5/8-inch dowels. The architect used a single width on deck rails. Two widths run above the kitchen and prow-shaped decks. Three widths above the main deck let light and air through but help block the view of the neighbors.

Decking of cedar 1 by 3's rests on a framework of 2-by-6 joists on pressure-treated 4-by-4 posts. Wood was covered with a gray outdoor stain compatible with the light gray color of the house.
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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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