Adding a deck to your home is a great way to create the feeling of more space. In a way, it is a bit like having an outdoor room where you can relax and enjoy time with friends and family members. It provides the perfect place for kicking back and enjoying the sunshine while you read a good book, barbecuing with your entire family, or shooting the breeze with your close friends after the sun goes down.
Decks can range in size from small and efficient to large and elaborate. Regardless of your budget and how much space you have to work with, chances are you can find the perfect deck plans to make your dreams come true. The following 7 building a deck tips will help you get started on creating the ideal deck for your space.
1. Set a budget upfront. Knowing how much money you have to spend will help you set realistic expectations in terms of the size, style, and composition of your deck. Once you start looking at deck designs and see all of the amazing options that are out there, it is easy to overspend. By having a solid figure in mind when you start, you can avoid the temptation to blow your budget, instead spending only what you can afford.
2. Research decking materials. There are countless different options out there when it comes to decking materials. Traditionally, decks have been built from wood. These days, however, there are also composite materials available that are designed to last far longer than wood. Typically, these materials don't require any painting or staining, making them a low-maintenance option for homeowners who don't have a lot of time to put into upkeep on their deck. The main drawback to these materials is that they are more expensive than real wood. Knowing what options are available can help you determine which choice is best for your situation.
3. Browse photos of decks. One of the best ways to get inspiration for your new deck is by looking through photos of existing decks. You can pick up design magazines at your local store or check stand. Alternatively, you can also browse photos online. Be sure to cut out or print any photos that you like and store them in a binder. That way, you can refer back to them when planning your own deck as a reminder of the style that you want to go for.
4. Decide whether you are going to build the deck yourself or hire someone to do it for you. Depending on your skill with power tools and experience with building, you may want to take on the deck building project yourself. Alternatively, if you don't have the right tools or aren't confident in your ability to build a stable deck, you can look into hiring someone to do it for you. Just keep in mind that the labor costs can significantly add to the overall cost of the deck.
5. Make a list of all of the materials that you will need. Assuming you are building the deck yourself, buying everything that you need up front can make the project go more smoothly. Nothing will slow you down more than having to stop and run to the hardware store part way through the project because you forgot an important component. Also, be sure to invest in high-quality components. Ideally, you should buy the best materials that you can afford.
Oftentimes, homeowners skimp on hardware or fasteners, figuring that because they aren't visible they don't have to buy high-quality parts. In fact, however, this is a very bad move. Low-quality hardware will break down more quickly than higher-quality hardware, meaning that your deck will need to be repaired more often and won't last as long.
By purchasing high-quality components right out of the gate, however, you can extend the life of your deck and minimize the amount of maintenance that is required. When you consider the time and money you will save over the long run, it helps justify the higher initial expense.
6. Find out if you need a permit. Depending on where you live and the size of your deck, you may need to get a building permit from your city. If necessary, check with your homeowners' association as well to make sure that your plans are in line with the association rules. The last thing you want is to spend a bunch of money on a deck only to find out that your homeowners' association won't allow it or to run into problems when it comes time to sell your home because you didn't have the right permits to build it.
7. The last of the 7 building a deck tips is to make sure the deck footings meet local building codes. A stable deck starts with proper footings. The depth requirements for the footings depend largely upon where you live. In colder climates, they need to be deep enough to extend past the frost line. Contact your local building department to find out what the requirements are in your area.
These 7 building a deck tips should help you create the deck of your dreams. In the long run, the more time and effort you put into planning, the more smoothly the project will go. With a bit of hard work and dedication, you should be able to see your initial vision come to life, adding extra space for relaxing and entertaining to your home.