Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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Adding a Deck

A large variety of deck styles can be created in Realtime Landscaping Architect, including straight, multilevel, curved, and even decks with holes.

Realtime Landscaping Architect makes it easy to create intricate deck designs; simply draw an outline for the deck and all the work of adding support posts, framing, railing, balusters, and more, is done automatically. Decks can be designed from scratch, or the Deck Wizard can be used to add a pre-built deck.

To add a deck:

1.   Click the Add Deck button, which is found near the top of the screen under the Building tab.

2.   Draw the outline of the deck by clicking the left mouse button to add points. Press the Backspace key to remove the last point added, and press the Esc key to cancel. If you would like to input the distance and angle manually, place at least one point and then press the Enter key.

3.   To finish drawing the deck, place the last point on top of the first point. Alternately, right-click to place the last point; it will automatically connect to the first point.

The landscape in the following design features a deck with glass balusters:

3d deck design

Creating Curved Decking

The curvature of a deck can be edited at any point, allowing you to create accurate bends and rounded corners. For details on how to manipulate the points of a shape, see Editing Points.

If multiple sharp corners need to be rounded, see below for an easy way to round each corner at the same time.

To round one or more corners:

1.   Click the deck you wish to modify to select it. If more than one deck needs to be edited, hold the Shift key while clicking on additional decks.

2.   Click the Edit points button found in the properties.

3.   Click the corner point(s) that need to be rounded. If more than one point must be rounded, hold the Shift key on your keyboard while clicking on additional points.

4.   Click the Round corners button that is found underneath the Edit points button, or press the O key on your keyboard.

5.   Move your mouse over one of the selected points, click and hold the left mouse button, and move the mouse to round the corners. While the corners are being rounded, you will see the radius displayed at the bottom of the screen. When the desired radius is reached, release the left mouse button.

6.   Click the Edit points button again to disable point editing mode.

The following picture displays the same deck before and after two of its corners have been rounded using the steps above:

rounded deck

Cutting Holes

Holes of any shape and size can be cut into decks to make room for hot tubs, gardens, or other features.

To cut a hole in the deck:

1.   Select the Plan view.

2.   Click the Ellipse button that is found near the top of the screen under the Plan Detail tab, and draw a circle by holding the Shift key, clicking once on your design where the center of the circle should be, and again where the edge of the circle should be.

3.   Select the new circle by clicking on it, and then click it again, but this time hold down the left mouse button while moving the mouse to relocate the circle over the deck.

4.   Click your deck to select it.

5.   Hold the Shift key and click the circle to select it as well. Note that the selection order is important for creating holes; the deck must be selected first in this case.

6.   Click Edit, Shape, and Boolean Subtract. Alternately, just click the Subtract shapes button that is found near the top of the screen, under the Main tab.

The picture below shows a deck after a hole has been subtracted. The Hide deck boards option was used to expose the deck framing.

landscape deck design

For more information on cutting shapes from one another, see Using Booleans to Create Complex Shapes.

Deck Railing

The entire deck receives railing by default, but railing can be toggled on and off per edge using the Toggle Railing button. Note that you do not need to turn off the railing where you plan to add deck stairs; the deck stairs will automatically remove the railing for you.

You can also add standalone railing which can be placed anywhere on the deck. See Adding Railing for details.

To turn railing on or off:

1.   Select the deck in your design, and click the Toggle Railing button that is found in the properties to enable railing editing mode.

2.   Click each of the deck edges that need railing removed.

3.   When you are finished, click the Toggle Railing button to disable railing editing mode.

Customizing the Plan View

Within the Plan view, decks can have a customized appearance. For example, a deck could look realistic in the Perspective view, but have a dark outline with a gradient fill interior when viewed in the Plan view. To customize the way the deck looks in the Plan view, click on the deck to select it, click the Material bar that appears to the right of the screen, and then check the Custom appearance in each view option. Two tabs will appear: Plan and Perspective. These two tabs allow you to customize how the deck appears in each view. If the Custom appearance in each view option is unchecked, then the deck will simply look like a realistic deck in both views.


      Decks are usually easiest to add while in the Plan view.

      You can also add standalone railing which can be placed anywhere on the deck. See Adding Railing for details.

      Using the grid snap feature can make adding an accurate deck very easy. See Snap Settings for more details.

      Multistory decks can be built by adding each of the deck stories as individual decks using the steps above. For the upper level deck stories, set the Elevation slider (found to the right of the screen, under the Options bar, when a deck is selected) to the desired height.

      Stairs can be easily added to any deck in your landscape design. For details, see Adding Deck Stairs.

See also:

Deck Properties
Setting Object Properties
Selecting Objects
Editing Points
Adding Deck Stairs
Adding Railing
Editing Objects