Custom Curved Deck with Cable Railings and Stone Grill

By Todd Fratzel on Decks & Porches

Custom Deck Project

Building a regular deck is something we do a lot of but it’s not very often that a customer requests a unique deck design. One of my long term customers sent me a set of plans and asked me if we could build this unique deck and I jumped at the opportunity. This was a large expansion of a deck area that sits on one of New Hampshire most beautiful lakes and was to become their outdoor entertaining focal point. The design included a curved deck, cable railings, stone cooking bar and some stone planting beds all tied into the existing house deck.

Decking Materials

For this project the Architect chose TimberTech (formally AZEK) decking with hidden fasteners. Three colors were chosen to include the main body of decking, a dark border, and three colors used to create a custom Nautical Arrow. We used color matched plugs for the perimeter boards that needed to be screwed down.

The nautical arrow was an interesting feature that took us a minute to develop. We printed the design out full size on paper and used that to create templates for each piece. After cutting all the pieces they were screwed down to a pressure treated plywood backer. That was then installed to the deck framing below that we dropped lower in order to accommodate the greater thickness with the plywood. We drilled holes in the plywood so it wouldn’t trap water. We cut out the circle in the main decking with a router in order to create a perfect circle with the same spacing as the regular deck boards.

Deck Railings

Several years ago we did a balcony deck renovation for this customer and used cable railings so that theme was extended down to this newer deck. We used CableRail by Feeney with their pre-finished metal posts and a cedar top rail again to match the existing deck we built. We oversized the wood top rail at the curved section to accommodate the straight cable sections along the curve. Obviously cable can’t follow a curve but the subtle change in angle from post to post is nearly undetectable to the naked eye especially with the large curved wooden cap. The cable rail really eliminates sight obstructions so the owners can focus on the beautiful views of the lake.

To create the curved cedar cap we laminated layers and glued up the lamination on a fixed radius form. Then a simple bull nose was added and sanded smooth. It really is beautiful and a great contrast with the stainless steel cables.

Stone Grilling Bar

We also built a custom stone grilling bar with a gas grill, refrigerator, and faucet. In includes a beautiful granite countertop along with a storage area and overhead lighting. The family loves this new grill area and uses it all Summer!

Stone Sitting Wall and Planting Bed

The last part of the project was creating a unique masonry sitting wall and planting area to breakup the large deck area. This part of the project was a bit more challenging than it appears. The three posts around the planting bed are posts holding up the 2nd story deck above for the house. We had to shore up the building and hold that deck in the air while we built the new foundation below to support the planting bed. As you can see the walls have two heights that follow the two deck levels.

Decks don’t have to be square or rectangular. The reality is if you can dream up some crazy deck project it’s likely you can find a contractor to build it. We had a blast building this deck and it’s surely one of my all time favorites.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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