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They built a private deck off their second-story living room.

Treeptop views and ocean breezes are only two of the reasons architect Ken Kornberg perched this deck above ground level. Convenience and privacy are others.

His split-level house rises from one story near the street to two at the rear of a tight lot in Del Mar, California. To gain a private outdoor living area with the best outlook, he built over the tar-and-gravel roof of the one-story wing. The new deck opens off the second-story living-dining room and kitchen.

After building a 2-foot-high wall around the roof perimeter, he nailed joist hangers to the walls, then spanned the roof with paired 2-by-6 joists. To create a deck system that lifts up for easy roof access, Kornberg made 4-foot-wide panels with 2-by-6 rims and slightly spaced 2-by-4 decking. The panels simply rest on the joists.

To give privacy from neighbors, Kornberg erected a large screen along one side of the deck. Louvers of fixed 2-by-6s permit breezes to pass through. The 18-inch-deep bench below the screen serves as a stabilizing base; large metal L-brackets secure the screen to the deck. The bench also ties visually to a 2-by-12 seat that runs along other sides of the deck. Fixed 2-by-6 louvers fill in under benches.

Between the perimeter wall and benches, Kornberg left room for junipers and other plants in containers (visible at left in large photograph above). All wood was treated with a water-resistant sealer.
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Date:Apr 1, 1985
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