As with any other home improvement projects, proper preparation is vital to ensure a successful job and to avoid unnecessary headaches or even worst – disasters. Better Homes and Garden has a slideshow that list some things to consider before building your deck. In this article, we’ve compiled those items together for your reference.
Learn About Different Decking Material You Can Use
Between all the various species of wood and composite materials, homeowners have more choices than ever before when it comes what they’re going to build their deck with. Redwood and pressure-treated cedar are always good choices for the traditional look of real wood. However, hardwoods such as ipe and jarrah are also popular nowadays, and their lifespan as deck material puts them on par with composites. They also give you a luxurious look that is hard to come by with other decking materials. They are, however, more costly than other type of wood.
If you’re looking for something other than real wood, then composite and synthetic decking materials may be right for you. They’ve revolutionized the field. They can last decades and are as free of maintenance as you can get. On the downside, they cost more than wood, but their benefit comes in the long run as they don’t need to be refinished. Please keep in mind that composite and synthetic materials look very different from real wood, so personal aesthetic preference plays a big part in the choice to use them or not.
Use Only Quality Fasteners
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when building a deck is using cheap, low-quality screws. These will discolor your deck as they will eventually corrode. This shortens your deck’s lifespan, especially when using pressure-treated wood. While not all decks are made with pressure-treated wood, the beams and joists are. Old rickety decks usually get that way because of cheap screws and faulty fasteners, not necessarily because of the wood.
For a quality deck, you should always use stainless steel or coated screws that are made specifically for pressure-treated wood. These resist corrosion and add to the life of your deck. You should also be careful not to use electroplate-galvanized screws. Although a lot of people use them, they should not be used on decks.
Hide Your Deck’s Support
While some people don’t care about visible screwheads on their decks, many people would prefer not to see these. If this is you, there are options you’ll want to consider. If you successfully hide fasteners, your deck will have a smoother appearance. To learn about your options to conceal screwheads, contact us today.
Wrap Your Deck in Attractive Railing
Options in deck railing have expanding to include innovative design from materials such as metal, vinyl, glass, cabling, composites, and other alternatives to the traditional wood. These options can bring the appearance of you deck to a new level.
Don’t Really Need Rails? Don’t Use Them
Why even add rails is you don’t need them. Check your local codes to see at what height your deck is required to have rails. It’s generally 18 or 24 inches. So if your deck isn’t that high, consider no rails. As an alternative, you could run stairs all the way around your deck, to the ground below. This provide a spacious elegance you’ll appreciate over the caged feel railing can potentially bring.
Add an Overhead Structure
If you live in a hot sunny area, then you know how vitally important shading can be in an outdoor setting. Adding a pergola not only provides obvious shade, but it can also add an entirely new dimension to your deck, taking it from 2D (length and width) to 3D (adding height). Now your deck has become an outdoor room with no walls, and you can hang things from it like speakers, lamps, plants, fans and anything else to your heart’s content. If you think a pergola may be in the future of your deck, consider the cost of building it form the beginning vs. adding it later. Contact us for more details on this.
Should You Build Wide or Deep?
If you think you’re going to need a lot of room, you may find yourself trying to figure out how to expand your deck over a larger portion of your property. Instead, you may want to consider a deck with two or even three levels. This can accommodate just as many people as a wider area deck, but it will still allow people to gather in cozier settings; and the higher levels provide an even more elegant feel.
Keep Your Deck Warm
Keep your deck warm in the winter months by adding some flame. Fire pits, outdoor torches and a fire place can make your deck cozy even in the winter.
Experiment with the Color
What many fail to realize is that, just as you carefully consider the colors of the inside of your home, you can also customize the actual color of your deck. It doesn’t have to be a shade of brown. Today, there are a variety of colors you can stain your decking if it’s wood, and if it’s composite, you also have a variety of colors to choose from. Try a color that makes your deck look like part of your home instead of an addition to it.
Get Creative in the Shape
Your deck doesn’t have to be an even rectangle or square. Consider some geometric funk! How about abnormal angles or curves. While it takes some more labor to do custom angles and non-straight sides, you’re guaranteed your deck will stand out among the neighbors and stick in the minds of your friends and guests.
Be Detailed About the Mood You Want to Create
Don’t skip on the detail. In addition to a creative shape, this is what will really set your deck apart from everyone else. Take some time to personalize every details of your deck. After all, it is YOUR deck, so make it yours. Be personal with the lighting, plants, fans, sound system, art, chairs, furniture, etc. As with a pergola, it’s worth planning these details into your deck form the beginning, instead of trying to force them into it later. These amenities can make your backyard one of a kind!
With decades of experience in home renovations, the team at Reliant Construction is ready to help you build the perfect deck for you. Contact us today for a free quote.