Style Inspiration

9 Freestanding Deck Plans & Ideas

Explore our guide below for pros, cons, and design ideas for freestanding decks. 

November 21, 2023

Freestanding decks are decks that aren’t connected to an outside wall. If I say “deck” or “porch” you probably think of a wood or composite backyard deck attached to a kitchen or living room, a covered front porch, or maybe a wraparound deck with a couple of comfy chairs. Freestanding deck designs are different. They can be placed anywhere in your yard or outdoor space, creating a new, usable area or outdoor “room” and can maximize space in a larger or non-traditional shaped yard. Additionally, freestanding decks can be placed near your home to give the look of an attached deck, without the impacts of attaching a deck to your home.  In other words, you can create freestanding deck plan to meet your needs and your design preference — no matter how specific those are! Read on to discover more.

What is a Freestanding Deck?

A freestanding deck is a stand-alone deck. Stand-alone deck ideas can be modified to suit your yard and your outdoor style dreams. Freestanding decks are a great idea if you: 

  • Do not have a building nearby to attach your deck to.
  • Want to build a deck at the edge of a pool.
  • Are building a deck next to a house where the siding or covering of the house is not easily attached to (ex: stucco, rock facade).
  • Do not want to cut into the side of the house or structure next to your deck. This can help avoid moisture-related issues related to flashing failures/installation issues.

Want to build a covered, enclosed, or large deck? A freestanding deck can give you the ability to transfer the load directly to the ground.

Freestanding Deck Pros

While freestanding decks are a good option for the reasons listed above, they also give you more creative freedom when designing your outdoor space. Here are a few of our favorite ways a freestanding deck allows navigate some of the design restrictions of a traditional deck:

  • Freestanding decks can be built anywhere in your outdoor space.
  • As they don’t attach to your home, freestanding decks don’t need to be lined up with entrances or built on difficult or uneven ground directly beside your property.
  • Freestanding decks can be built at any elevation. Note: uneven gradients or tall deck designs are more difficult to build and often have more code requirements when built as a freestanding deck.

Freestanding Deck Cons

Although freestanding decks are a brilliant choice for many people who want more outdoor space, there are some cons to stand-alone decks:

  • Usually, freestanding decks require more footings than decks attached to the house.
  • As they aren’t attached to the solid wall of a building, cross bracing and diagonal bracing are needed to keep freestanding decks from swaying and being damaged in high winds and storms.
  • Traditional decks are known to increase retail value, while there are less stats available about the effect freestanding decks have on home prices.

9  Freestanding Deck Ideas

Now you understand what a freestanding deck is and why you might choose one, take a look at Trex’s top freestanding deck design ideas:

1. Stand-alone Decks with a Pergola

If you’re building a freestanding deck to create the feeling of multiple backyard spaces or “outdoor rooms,” then giving your deck a frame and covering with an outdoor pergola will add to your design. Pergolas can add architectural interest by highlighting your personal style wherever you build your stand-alone structure. They also make your new space more practical by offering shade cover so you can enjoy the backyard even when the sun isn’t letting up. 

2. DIY Freestanding Deck Ideas

Freestanding decks can be a really good DIY project no matter your skill level. A low, single-level freestanding deck doesn’t require deep footings and can be built on any flat part of your yard. If you’re looking for a more challenging self-build deck design, you might be able to grow practical yard space and take advantage of a good view by building above an awkward slope or adding a deck beside an existing body of water like a stream, river, or pond.

3. Contemporary Freestanding Deck Ideas

Freestanding decks with either no railings, glass railings, or  aluminum railings have a contemporary look. Connecting your freestanding deck to your home, traditional backyard deck, or your patio with a raised path built from the same decking boards as the deck is also a good way to create a sleek, creative backyard. Finally, if you want something truly special, why not use recessed uplights and careful planting to make your deck feel genuinely yours and contemporary?

4. Freestanding Deck Ideas on a Budget

Freestanding decks can save you money by allowing you to build wherever makes the most sense within your backyard. Any easy-to-build-on, flat area of land can be made both practical and beautiful with the addition of a simple, low freestanding rectangular deck. Making a budget stand-alone deck look a million dollars isn’t hard either – planting carefully around the deck and choosing hard-wearing, attractive outdoor furniture guarantee your low-cost deck will impress.

5. Adding a Fence to a Standalone Deck

If you want a private, enclosed space, then consider adding fencing to your stand-alone deck. An enclosed freestanding deck offers an area to socialize, gossip, sunbathe, or for a magical secret garden within your own backyard! Trex offers composite fencing in a wide variety of colors and styles to match or complement your deck boards, and it won’t fade when exposed to sun or rain as wood does. 

6. Adding an Outdoor Kitchen to a Freestanding Deck

An outdoor kitchen housed on a freestanding deck is a stylish, unexpected option. A bar and grill provides a separate entertaining space that screams “special occasion,” and it also means any late-night socializing noise can be carefully placed to avoid waking the kids or the neighbors.

7. Outdoor Furniture Ideas to Add to a Standalone Deck

Just like with any deck, a freestanding deck can be made into something really special with the right outdoor furniture. In fact, as your stand-alone deck is likely to be separate from your inside space and any existing traditional deck,  it’s an opportunity to experiment with the bold decor decisions you’ve always dreamed of. 

8. Fire Pit Freestanding Deck Ideas

Fire pits and fire pit tables can also add to a freestanding deck’s aesthetic appeal. A toasty warm fire pit makes your new deck usable even when it’s cold outside and also offers a fun focal point on warmer nights. Plus, while sitting around a fire may be something people have done since the dawn of time, fire pit designs range from traditional to super clean and modern, so you don’t have to compromise when choosing a fire pit that fits with your backyard style.

9. Gazebo Standalone Deck Ideas

Similar to a pergola, a gazebo built on a freestanding deck adds structure and increases the feeling of multiple outdoor rooms that can be used for specific purposes. With a full roof or covering coming as a standard element of a gazebo, you can build yourself a space that’s close to weatherproof (particularly if you combine a gazebo and a fire pit). Whether you’re after a summer house or a winter hideaway, a gazebo that tops a carefully placed stand-alone deck may be the answer. 

Get Started With Designing Your Freestanding Deck Today!

Are you already imagining how a freestanding deck would look in your yard? Then it’s time to start on the next steps! You can take a look at Deck Plans for some inspiration before you make any major decisions, or use the Deck Designer tool to play with specific ideas that fit your backyard. Whether you’re planning to DIY your stand-alone deck or hire a professional to build your new outdoor space, knowing exactly what you want will save you time and help ensure your ideas become a reality. 


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