All Hands on Deck: Game Over for this Backyard Space

Our clients came to us requesting a complete deck overhaul. They love to entertain and the steep slope of their Des Moines backyard means their deck is the only useable outdoor space to do so. Although in decent condition, the deck  size and layout rendered it confining and uninspiring. We took cues from  more modern elements of the interior and designed a stunning outdoor space with ample room for entertaining and otherwise.

before deck is bulky, confining and uninspiring

BEFORE: The deck is bulky and too small for entertaining. Furthermore, it is not oriented to take advantage of the thicket of mature trees that surround the property and to provide peaceful privacy.


before deck and patio has dead space not large enough for grill area

BEFORE: The new layout will eliminate the unusable dead space and provide a proper space to grill.


before layout of deck needing overhaul

BEFORE: Layout of deck and patio in need of an overhaul.


A Modern Terrace for Entertaining & Relaxing

A sloped back yard provides the ideal scenario for a terraced deck. The homeowners wanted to keep the deck high above grade to minimize bothersome bugs that tend to gather lower to the ground. The main portion of the deck will be expanded and we’ll integrate a gentle terraced extension with built-in seating around a gas fire pit. Tall planters will provide greenery and help refocus the space away from the garage door and toward the wooded backyard. Installing large format pavers over the existing slab and repeating them for the footpath will add a nice tie-in to the landscaping. A contemporary railing consisting of square metal posts with horizontal cables will be topped with a teak rail. Rather than attach the posts to the decking, we opted for a more contemporary approach and will mount them to the vertical skirting. Slim posts lights are in the plans to provide soft evening illumination around the perimeter. Our clients are in love with this new plan and so are we.

New terraced deck design by deck builders Silent Rivers of Des Moines, Iowa features levels, benches, fire pit, patio pavers, cable rail

THE NEW PLAN: The new deck will provide plenty of space for entertaining, relaxing and grilling.


materials chosen by deck builders Silent Rivers of Des Moines, Iowa include dark hickory composite decking, limestone fire bowl, oil rubbed bronze metal railing posts with cable rails and sage green cushions and louvered post lights.

THE MATERIALS: The dark hickory composite decking will be complimented by a limestone fire bowl, oil-rubbed bronze metal railing posts with cable rails, and sage green cushions on the benches. We’ve specified small louvered post lights to add touches of illumination and extend party hours.


Prepping for Finishes

With all the additional footings poured, the framing is well underway. We were able to salvage most of the original structure and extend the joists to expand the main footprint. Landscape fabric and rock beneath the deck is in place to minimize erosion on the steep slope and to discourage unwanted vegetation. The lower deck is taking form as well and the clients are beginning to visualize their new space.


Jenna Frideres, artisan of deck designer and builder Silent Rivers of Des Moines, Iowa, planes joists to ensure the new decking installs seamlessly on this sloped yard leading to the woods.

IN-PROGRESS: Jenna Frideres, one of Silent Rivers’ newest artisans, planes the joists to ensure the new decking installs seamlessly. This shot shows how the new deck layout takes advantage of the luscious surrounding woods.


New deck in progress, platform, pavers, by deck designer and deck builder Silent Rivers of Des Moines, iowa

IN-PROGRESS: The steps will be framed now that the pavers are installed.


New deck in progress has a terrace over sloped backyard by deck builder Silent Rivers of Des Moines, Iowa

IN-PROGRESS: The terrace extension takes shape.


Once framing is completed, we’ll start on the built-ins and then the real transformation will begin. So far this deck update is coming along nicely and the homeowners are excited to get their first party invitations out!


Stay updated on our progress on this deck built for entertaining! Can’t wait? Check out some of our other summer-worthy deck projects »


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