Here’s What to Know Before Building Your Deck

A deck helps you extend the living space of your home to the outdoors. You can relax, BBQ and enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving your house. Step outside and capture the sunshine or bask in the glow of the moon. Not all decks are created equal, so consider these things before getting started.

Design

There are a variety of design options. You can have an elevated deck with adjustable deck supports or a multi-level deck on a sloped yard. The local municipality may have restrictions on how large or what type of deck can be built. If a lot of sun shines on the spot where you plan to place the deck, consider adding a covering such as a pergola for added shade. You may have to go around trees. In a dense neighborhood, you may want to include a privacy screen in your design or potted plants.

Materials

There is more than one material to build your deck out of. Composite boards are a new material that uses a combination of 25% polypropylene with 75% wood fiber for a longer-lasting, stainable alternative to wood. Tropical hardwood such as Ipe are a long-lasting specialty wood but comes with a hefty price tag. For a lower costing wood alternative, consider redwood or cedar. These woods are easier to work with and resist insects but have more frequent maintenance. PVC is another option for the budget-minded owner that offers great benefits such as moisture resistance but looks the least like natural wood.

Purpose

Ultimately, how you plan to use your deck influences the best materials to use and the layout. If you plan to have a heavy BBQ pit and thick tiles on the deck, you may need more supportive materials to handle the weight. If you plan to fit 20 people on it every Saturday night for dinner, you may need a wider deck with lots of tables and chairs. The space of your backyard may limit what you can do.… Read More...