Think of a multilevel deck as an extension of both a house and a property. If done well, the decking should blend and complement the two environments, real estate agents say.
"It should go with the size of the house," says Rita Varriale of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, who is marketing the Oyster Bay Cove house on these pages.
Large or small, multilevel decks have been popular for quite some time, says Todd Bourgard of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the listing agent for the featured Hampton Bays house, noting people tend to use them right up to November. "A lot of people are entertaining at home. They love family gatherings, and they love to be outside," Varriale says.
And what's nice about having multiple levels is having separate spaces, she and others add -- say, an area for the pool or an area to converse, another to dine, and even one to accommodate live music. But it doesn't always have to be about entertaining. There's nothing better than sitting quietly and taking it all in, they say.
Here's a sample of some of the multilevel decks that are out there. Take a peek and imagine the time you can have outside.
OYSTER BAY COVE
70 Shutter Lane
The multilevel cedar deck attached to this 8,780-square-foot contemporary has been the site of many parties, says the listing agent. Since it's so spacious, a cocktail hour can occur on one level, and dinner can be served on another. It also gives guests plenty of space to mingle. The decks, as well as several balconies, overlook the in-ground pool, which has a waterfall that spills into the Jacuzzi. In fact, the 2.4-acre landscape, which backs a nature preserve, won an award for landscape design, the agent adds.
The property has appeared on "Royal Pains," a USA Network television series. The manse also was featured on the cover of House magazine twice in the early 2000s. Interior features include walls of windows, two fireplaces, a new kitchen, new bathrooms (there are a total of 5½) and five bedrooms. Custom details, including individually designed stone on the family room wall, are found throughout. Total taxes, including a village tax are $44,645. Rita Varriale, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 516-382-4892.
1 Pond View Dr.
You can say this 10,000- square-foot contemporary is all decked out -- it features wraparound multilevel decking. Overlooking Long Island Sound, the deck is said to comfortably seat 38 for outdoor dining. An outdoor kitchen is incorporated on one level, while a separate pool deck also overlooks the Sound. Next to the Welwyn Nature Preserve, the 1.42-acre property has mature trees and a formal rose garden complemented by cupolas which were part of the original estate.
Among many special features, the manse -- used in movies, including the 1995 version of "Sabrina" -- has a dramatic entrance with Travertine floors, as well as walls of windows and three fireplaces. The chef's kitchen is outfitted with two stoves, four ovens, three sinks and new cabinets. There are eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half-baths that include the master suite and separate guest quarters. Since the house is nestled between West Pond, the Sound and a spring-fed freshwater pond, the owners have dubbed it Tween-Waters. Taxes are $47,399. Regina Rogers, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-759-0400.
73 Red Creek Rd.
Decks are a common feature on Hamptons houses. This one comes with a multilevel deck that covers more than 2,000 square feet. The upper level, which is next to a screened porch, overlooks the lower level, where there is a heated in-ground pool with a slide and lounging chairs. Since the property -- 1.4 acres -- is surrounded by bamboo and backs a greenbelt, the yard is private, the agent says.
Inside, the freshly painted house is appointed with wood floors, molding, picture windows and two fireplaces. The owners just spent $150,000 renovating the lower level, which is set up with a game room, media room, a summer kitchen and a half bathroom, the agent adds, noting that it has a walkout to the pool area. About 4,000 square feet, the house has four bedrooms and 4½ bathrooms. Taxes are $12,792. Todd Bourgard, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-875-9667
611 Edgewater Rd.
Multilevel is the central theme at this waterfront Idle Hour property on the Connetquot River, where the deck and the 10-room contemporary share that same feature -- both are multilevel. Starting outside, there is a bar covered by a retractable awning on the top level, and a lower deck, where the owners keep a round table and chairs. A balcony is off the third-floor master bedroom. Views of the water and boardwalk with 127 feet of private bulkhead are offered from these vantage points. While the heated one-car garage has a door that opens to the lower deck, the house is accessible through three sets of sliding-glass doors -- two up and one down. Interior details of the updated house include oak floors, radiant heat flooring, picture windows, a fireplace, skylights and central air-conditioning. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The property size is 127 by 108 feet. Taxes are $12,807. Peter Foglia, RE/MAX Integrity Leaders, 516-901-2701
417 Rockaway Pkwy.
This 40-by-100-foot property has a multilevel deck with a pergola, which is accessible from the kitchen through a sliding-glass door. The homeowner has the top level outfitted with a wicker couch and a coffee table on one side, and a round table with an umbrella and two chairs on the other. A couple of steps down, the lower deck has a long farm table that accommodates eight people.
Flowers, fig trees, a grassy area and a detached two-car garage complete the scene. Features of the six-room Colonial include an open floor plan with wood floors and a fireplace, as well as three bedrooms and 1½ bathrooms. The updated eat-in kitchen is outfitted with granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Taxes are $11,226. Janet Falco and Susan Greenberg, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-499-9191