We started with an existing deck of ample size. We had some changes in mind but they didn’t fit the budget, so we kept the existing structure. Thankfully the foundations were good, and the structure was to code except for a few joists that were spanning a bit too far. We fixed that (as well as some rot on the house) and added blocking to make a super-solid structure.
This deck had a fun lighting plan which had all the stair risers and railings illuminated. We’ll need to return for photos after dark!