Considerations When Building a Deck

May 04, 2016 3 min read

Considerations When Building a Deck

Are you thinking about building a deck? It’s a great way to extend your living space for the majority of the year. A deck can enhance the look of your home, and provide a great space for your outdoor entertaining and relaxation. There are so many things to consider when planning a deck project. Here are some tips so that you can enjoy your outdoor living area, rather than sweat the small stuff.

If you’re building your own deck, thoroughly research the many options in decking materials. There are more choices for deck materials than ever before. You can choose from many varieties of wood, composite decking and vinyl.

Composite decks are nearly maintenance-free and last for decades. Composites cost more at the outset to install than a wood deck, but money is saved in the long run because they will not require refinishing (staining, painting, sealing, etc.). Wood decks will require refinishing and maintenance on a fairly regular basis.

After you’ve decided on the type of materials to use in your deck, there are other options to think about. What type of deck fasteners will you use? Buying low-quality screws can be a costly mistake. These can corrode and discolor your deck. Invest in screws that will resist corrosion and stand up to time, like stainless-steel or coated screws. These may cost a bit more, but will save you money long-term. You may also want to conceal your deck fasteners. People are used to seeing screw heads on decks, but if that bothers you, you can use hidden fasteners which will give a much cleaner appearance to the surface of your deck.

Another option when choosing the deck you want is what type of railing to use. If the deck is low to the ground (usually two feet high or lower) you may not need railings. Check with your municipality to see if railings are required.  For higher decks, make sure you are choosing sturdy railings that meet specified height requirements. Some of the choices available in deck railings can include metal, vinyl, composites, cabling, and glass, in addition to standard wood.

You may also want to consider a deck with multiple levels. Instead of one big flat platform for your deck, you can construct two or three levels. This allows for areas of the deck for specific purposes like grilling, dining or a bar area, similar to separate rooms in your home. Multiple deck levels can also help to avoid having to build steep sets of stairs.

Color options for decks are many. You can coordinate the deck to match or complement the exterior color of your home. A plain brown wood deck is not the only option, as it was years ago. A deck can be constructed that looks like it is a natural extension of your home. The choices of stains for wood deck, and the colors of composite decking, are numerous and you can choose a color and style to suit your preferences.

Before your construction plans are finalized, don’t forget about important details. Are you going to want a shaded area on your deck? Then consider a roof, an awning, or even a pergola. You may also want to install lighting, speakers, fans or hanging plants. Built-in benches (and even tables) can provide additional seating if you plan to use your deck for entertaining.  You can even plan for a deck heating system so that you can enjoy it nearly year-round.

If these options and plans sound overwhelming, we can make the process much easier! Give us a call. We can provide a free estimate on a deck and work with you to plan the deck you are envisioning.