Asking how to build a deck is sort of like asking how to build a house – while there’s certainly a list of guidelines and best practices to follow, there’s no right answer when it comes to how you approach construction. Before you start making plans, you should ask yourself two questions: What kind of deck (or decks!) do I need, and what sort of decking materials should I use to build my deck?
Your New Deck: What’s It For?
When it comes to answering the first question, you’re your own best source. There’s no such thing as putting to much thought into the best design for your deck – it’s a home improvement that’ll probably be with you for the lifespan of your home, as decks aren’t easy to replace. If you don’t know where to begin, ask yourself some questions: What do you plan to use your deck for? Will you entertain visitors on it? Will there be a pool or some other backyard feature attached? Will your deck be free-standing, or connected to your home? What kind of seating will you need? Do you want to install lighting? If so, what kind?
You should also consider your deck’s orientation in relation to prevailing weather patterns in your area. From which direction does the wind usually blow during the warmer months (when you’ll get the most use out of your deck)? Which side of your home gets the most sun? Are there any shade trees you can take advantage of?
Once you’ve got an outline of how you want your deck to look, and what purpose you’d like it to serve, you should pay a visit to your local zoning office. Some municipalities have legal guidelines governing the size of home decks, as well as their placement in relation to the street and neighboring homes. Make sure your deck doesn’t run afoul of any zoning restrictions – otherwise you may pay for it later.
So now you’ve got a rough idea (or maybe a more refined one, depending on how thorough you are about these things) of what kind of deck you’ll be looking at once the project is finished.
Maintenance-Free Decking: Your Best Choice Overall
“Maintenance-free decking” is actually another way to refer to composite wood decking, since just about every type of composite decking system involves very little upkeep on the part of the homeowner. Since composite decking resists bugs and weather damage, usually all you’ll need is a little elbow grease to keep your deck in great shape. Maintenance-free decks are just as popular as you’d expect, simply because there’s no yearly resealing costs involved.
Composite decking is so easy to care for because it’s made of a combination of reclaimed wood and plastic scraps. (Don’t let the words “reclaimed” and “scraps” fool you, though – the combination of materials makes for an overall stronger product, and one that keeps those scraps out of landfills to boot.)
Of course, none of this is to say wood and pressure treated lumber decks aren’t any good. Decks with cedar decking and cedar rails are sure to beautify your home, and cedar (along with its hardwood cousins, ipé and cambara) is a strong wood that’ll hold up to the elements relatively well. But to be truly weather-resistant and maintenance-free, decks should be composed of a combination of both wood and plastic.
There are a variety of brands of composite decking materials out there, and each has its strengths. Some of the more well-known brand names are Trex, Evergrain, Procell, GeoDeck and Timbertech. Spend some time with a cup of coffee and a search engine to find the brand that’s best for your needs.
Once you’ve decided on a plan and a material, it’s time to start building. So get the whole family involved – your spouse and your kids are sure to be thrilled to help you…What’s that? Nobody wants to help you begin your great outdoor DIY project? They’ve all hidden away and are refusing to come outside?
Well, nobody ever said constructing a deck was easy. Now get to work!
Source by Protechwood