Budget Fence N Deck has built a large variety of decks throughout the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex ranging from single ground level, upper level balcony and multilevel. When is comes to decks there are many styles to choose from such as transistion board, herringbone, patchwork, but perpindicular by far is the most popular.
When chosing a deck first pick out the location where you would like to place it. Gather the dimensions; length times width and multiply it to come up with the square footage. Next determine the pattern, if it is above 30"; depending upon the city you may need a permit, do you want steps, handrail, will it be stained, what materials will you be using composite, cedar or pressure treated. The framing is done in treated to keeps costs down and the decking and handrail can all be done in wood to match, but by far pressure treated decks are the most popular due to cost.
A good semi transparent stain such as ready seal is good to give your deck a natural wood grain look. If you are wanting a more uniform painted look or matching the wood from a deck repair Behr has a good solid deck stain.
Handrail comes in a many styles and materials as well. It can be made from wood, wrought iron or even using steel wire. Keep these in mind when designing your deck and that each decision changes the cost as well.