Deck building is overly satisfying, both the building process and the completed product. A well-constructed deck expands your living area and hangout space, especially during warm seasons.
Well-designed decks also increase property value. Like most homeowners, you might need help determining whether to tackle this home improvement project yourself or hire professionals. Deck building isn’t complicated, and DIY enthusiasts can complete the project themselves. Below are construction tips from the pros to consider.
Skilled or Not Skilled?
Before embarking on this project, you should begin by evaluating your skill levels and carpentry skills. Even if you are a DIY enthusiast, you should be realistic and determine if deck construction is within your skill set. Endless DIY shows on TV networks inspire homeowners to take on various home improvement projects, but constructing a deck requires specific expertise and knowledge. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is advisable to hire professional deck builders who have the experience and expertise to ensure a safe and durable deck.
However, ask yourself if you can fix the joints correctly, lay out deck footers precisely, square up the deck comfortably, and apply deck paint. You should also be able to operate a circular saw and other crucial power tools to complete the project. While this might sound challenging, using helical piles for decks simplifies the process. If you don’t have the requisite skills or are not confident to take on the project, you can watch how-to videos and read DIY guidebooks for a greater understanding.
Consider the Legal Requirements
Most states require homeowners to obtain building permits before starting construction projects. Your outdoor deck should meet the local building codes and safety standards. Additionally, some states require homeowners to submit construction drawings from experts for permit approvals. You should adhere to these requirements because fines for failing to meet the legal requirements are costly.
Building your deck without a permit also impedes property sales. Prospective homebuyers and home inspectors won’t proceed with the sale if they can’t find a permit on your files in the local building office. If your home is under a homeowner’s association, you should also be versed with their regulations. Most HOAs limit the material options and require specific railing styles.
Design a Deck for Your Lifestyle
You should plan carefully regardless of the size and shape of your deck. Among the key considerations to make include the size of your backyard, the direction of the shade, and the view. The view is very important when designing the outdoor space. Most homeowners ignore the importance of carefully positioning the beams and posts, which later impede a good view.
Always consider how you’ll use the space. For instance, do you need enough space for a dining table, grill, or a fully functional outdoor kitchen? Do you need an entertaining or conversation area? Do you prefer a solitary space or a creative area? While you should design to suit your lifestyle, don’t limit deck construction to immediate needs. A well-designed deck should be enjoyed for 20 or more years comfortably.
Like any other home improvement project, you should avoid mistakes when building your deck. Most DIYers overlook the basics, often making mistakes such as incorrectly spacing deck joints, installing the wrong deck boards, not using corrosive-resistant fasteners, and adding too many extras.
Building an outdoor deck is an overwhelming yet rewarding experience. However, you should prepare adequately to enjoy the comfort of your outdoor deck. Choose the right materials, pick a good design, and research extensively before digging the first hole.