Perching your home above a deep ravine on top of a cliff may give you great views of the world below, but if your house is close enough to the ravine's edge, you do not exactly have much of a backyard. You could, however, build a deck that allows you to exit the back of your house and still enjoy the view. Here is how deck builders can build you an amazing deck (or decks!) off the back of your home, overlooking and descending safely into the ravine.
Designing the Decks
The first thing deck builders will do is examine the space behind your home. They need to see where they can install and secure the supporting posts for your single deck or graduated series of step-down decks. With any luck, there are adequate areas where these support post can be anchored. If you are not so lucky, the builders will have to excavate and/or cut places out of the cliff for the posts, which creates additional expense. After a deck builder has seen what he/she has to work with, he/she is able to create an estimate for the job and design your deck or decks.
Installing the Deck Support Posts
Deck support posts are tall vertical beams that are secured by concrete and steel rods into the ground and rock behind your home. Builders try to keep these posts short because really long support posts are difficult to fortify over the height/length of the posts. In order to achieve sound stability for an upper deck, a lower deck may be necessary. The lower deck provides an additional weight-distributing surface onto which support posts may be attached to support the upper deck. If you also want to be able to descend safely into the ravine for a hike, then these additional step-down decks are necessary.
Constructing the Actual Decks
The actual deck, or decks, are designed to be specific shapes. The terrain of the ravine below your house will dictate the shape and size of the deck(s). The frame(s) of the deck(s) is/are constructed first, fitting around and on top of the support posts. Then the actual deck planks are installed and secured over the frames. Finally, for safety purposes, deck railings are installed to prevent falls into the ravine off of the top and lower decks (if applicable). Stairs are constructed to connect to each of the lower decks. Now your deck is complete.