Spring is already in full swing, and we know that you didn’t get enough time outside during winter. No excuse, the good weather is here. Just like how the seasons change, your outdoor living space needs a little upgrade. Whether you are planning to create a new deck or replacing the existing one, adding an extension of your living room outside is an excellent way to spend more time with families and friends.
We know it’s quite daunting to embark on a home addition like building a new deck, but before you lift a finger, we recommend reading these helpful tips. Spend less time worrying about this new endeavor by understanding the most important aspects you need to consider before constructing a new deck.
1. Create a Concrete Plan
Nothing goes wrong with the right planning. Building a new deck requires your time to figure out what needs to be done and how to mitigate any possible snags that pop up during the construction. It’s pretty much obvious that planning should always come first before starting a deck project. Concrete planning means listing all your options, setting your timelines and budget or focusing on your goals.
2. Understand the Function and Purpose
You might probably have cold feet upon knowing that replacing a deck or creating a new one entails your time, money and energy. Don’t fret! Start asking yourself, “Why do I want a new deck?” If you build a new deck today, would it serve a great purpose to you and your family? How will it become more functional?
There are reasons for crafting a new deck, which might include the following:
b. Spa entrance or pool
c. Dining and grilling
e. Container gardening
3. Think About the Location
Location choice is dependent on the size and landscape of your property. If you have a scenic view outside your home, that is probably the best location for your new deck. You’re lucky enough if you have a big space outside as you have more possible options to choose from. However, it would be helpful to consider the following factors in dealing with the best location:
a. Size of your lot
b. Proximity to the main house
d. Rain, snow and wind
f. Sun and shade
4. Consider Your Budget
You understand so well that doing pretty much anything involves money. Deck project is not an exception at all. No plans are being finalized until the budget is defined. To streamline your budget, you need to factor in some essential details such as the size of the project, materials to use, design ideas, contracting service fees or labor expenses. These factors (and maybe more) make up the final cost of the project.
5. Know Your Decking Material Options
In this day and age, homeowners can have more decking material options than before. While wood decking remains to be the top choice, the deck industry continues to introduce new materials such as composites, vinyl, aluminum and other synthetic materials. In planning to build a new deck, it is very critical to choose the right decking material. Talking to a professional deck contractor helps you narrow down the options, but let us give you some ideas about these decking materials:
Pressure-treated Lumber. The most popular and economical choice for decking material. This type of wood decking is chemically-treated to resist rot and damages caused by termites. However, this type of wood product is not dimensionally-stable, so it is very prone to warping, splitting or cracking.
Cedar and Redwood. These wood products produce natural oils to resist rot and pest infestations. Both materials require less labor during installation but need frequent waterproofing and maintenance.
Tropical Hardwood. Hardwood is more densified and heavier, which makes it long-lasting and highly durable. Mostly imported and exotic, this wood product is quite expensive as compared to other decking options. Also, installation of hardwood is labor-intensive.
Composites. Composites are highly sustainable, low maintenance and eco-friendly. There is no requirement for periodic staining or sealing when you choose this synthetic decking alternative, so you are saving maintenance expenses in the long run. However, they tend to be more expensive during installation as opposed to other decking materials.
Vinyl. It offers superior resistance to humidity or moisture, so it won’t warp, shrink or swell. Though it is very low maintenance, the look and appeal of vinyl decking are less wood-like.
6. Determine the Size and Shape
The deck size can be driven by your budget, the size of your lot and the location. Small lot size and budget may mean a small deck. Having a larger outdoor area means a bigger deck.
Aside from being a functional outdoor living area, the size and shape of a new deck should define the amount of space you need. You must ascertain how many people it can accommodate and understand that these people should comfortably move around this space. Also, you must factor in the number of outdoor furniture you want to set up or any other deck project you’re planning to do in the future.
7. Conceptualize Your Designs
The design of your deck varies depending on your style and preferences. You can start by seeking out for inspiration in lifestyle magazine or home improvement show. Being able to show an exact picture or video of your designs would make it easier for your contractor to estimate the cost.
In building a new deck, you’ve got a world of options when it comes to design ideas. You can set the ambiance with simple yet elegant details such as landscape lighting, planters, built-in benches or outdoor fabrics. Adding a shade overhead like pergola creates a dramatic effect to your new deck as well. It would also boost the charm of your outdoor living space by complementing the color and style of the deck to your main house. Whatever design ideas you want to incorporate, make sure that you maximize every space and square foot of your outdoor haven.
8. Invest in Railings
You and your family’s safety are more important than anything else. Hence, railings are highly recommended. When building a new deck, it is beneficial to surround your deck with functional yet beautiful railings. It won’t only create a huge impact on the look of your outdoor living space, but it also provides additional security. Depending on the style of your deck, you can choose various designs such as traditional railings, lattice, sunburst or composites.
9. Obtain a Permit
There are many aspects of deck construction and designs that are covered by local codes and should be approved by your county or city. This practice is essential to ensure that your new deck is legal. Homeowner’s association may impose some guidelines that you need to abide as well. With this, you must obtain a permit before building a new deck. We highly recommend that even before contemplating on materials to use or deciding the size and location of the deck, you are already aware of the legal requirements and restrictions. If you are working with a local contractor, you can be informed of the process ahead of time.
10. Look for the Best Contractor
Once you have done all the thorough planning and research, you may need to ask yourself if you love building a new deck on your own or hire someone to get the job done for you. Crafting a deck is quite a big undertaking. It certainly needs a tremendous amount of carpentry and DIY experience. Though there isn’t any problem in showcasing your DIY skills or cutting cost, you must decide which route would you go. You might end up spending more by doing it yourself because you miss out the most important aspects of deck building. Worst is, it might compromise the quality and professional finish. If you have doubts as to how your DIY skills can take you further, then you might probably need a professional contractor to take care of the deck project.
Creating an extension of your living area is an excellent idea to kickstart spring and summer. Whether you plan to build a new deck yourself or hire a professional deck contractor, it is vital to factor in all important aspects of deck building. This way, you can gain more confidence with your decision before you even move the project into construction. However, if you feel that you need a professional contractor to put your ideas into a more structured concept, contact Deck Ready. We are a team of highly-skilled professionals, dedicated to bringing expertise in your deck project.