Things to Consider Before Building a Deck
Since the weather is about to start getting nicer, you might be thinking about all the fun things you’re looking forward to doing during the spring and summer. One project many homeowners start looking into this time of year is building a deck. Decks can make wonderful additions to any home. During the summer months, they’re an ideal place to relax by yourself, to have fun with the kids, or to host friends for a cookout.
But before you get started, here are a few important things you should keep in mind.
Check the Building Codes
Before you get too carried away with planning the deck of your dreams, check with your city to see if there are any building codes you’ll need to adhere to. Depending on the size of the deck you want to build, you may need to get permits before construction can begin. Building codes can vary from city to city, so you’ll want to be sure you’re fully in accordance with the rules where you live. Don’t try to cut corners by trying to do it yourself to skirt the building codes. Decks can be a great way to add some value to your home, but if you try to sell your home and an inspector discovers your deck isn’t up to code, you’ll have to pay to have it fixed later.
Can My Deck Be a DIY Project?
If you have some carpentry experience, building a small deck can be the sort of project you might be able do yourself, particularly if it’s a free-standing deck that isn’t directly connected to your home. But in most cases, it’s best to hire a professional to build a deck, particularly if you’re looking to build on a sloped area or want a more complex deck. Decks can require a lot of planning and special consideration to make sure it’s safe and structurally sound. A professional will be certain your deck is strong enough to support the weight of multiple people, plus furniture, a grill, and anything else that you might have on your deck. And since many decks are directly connected to the home, a professional will make sure it’s secured in a way that won’t damage your home. Professionals will also be able to come up with any blueprints or renderings your city might need to approve.
The Right Materials
Choosing the right materials for your deck is essential. The material you choose to have your deck made out of are a major factor in how much your deck will cost and how much maintenance you’ll have to do on it. Wood is a very popular choice, but will require staining to protect it from the elements. Some types of wood are naturally resistant to wood rot and/or pests, but can be more expensive than other types of wood. PVC and composite wood both stand up well to moisture, insects, and won’t warp or swell the way wood can, but they’re not the least expensive option out there and some types of PVC or composite materials aren’t as convincingly wood-like as others. Pressure-treated wood is the least expensive decking material option, but isn’t as durable and requires more maintenance than other types of materials.
Adding a deck to your house can do a lot to make your home more enjoyable during the summer months. Being sure to take these steps before you get started will help save you headaches later on so all you’ll have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your new deck!