If you have a large garden, then why not build a deck? A deck is a fantastic place to sit on a summer’s evening with friends and family, enjoying drinks. It’s also a great place to relax by yourself, with a good book.
Whether you use your deck for entertaining or for solo enjoyment, it’s bound to come in handy. Decks are also great during winter when your garden’s grass will be wet, damp, and muddy. Decks are built with gaps for water to drain through, meaning that they are usually quite dry.
This article will tell you how you can build a perfect, durable deck, quite simply:
1. Correct Measurements
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that you have your measurements correct. If you don’t know how much decking you are going to need, then you can’t realistically buy materials yet. People that blindly purchase too much decking ultimately end up costing themselves a lot of money unnecessarily, when at the end of their project they have lots of unsellable decking left over.
Go ahead and measure the space that you are going to turn into decking, then use a handy decking calculator to work out how much you are going to need. When you know how much decking you are going to need, you can then go ahead and head down to your local construction materials store and buy it.
2. Best Material
The next thing that you need to consider is the material that you are going to use for your yard’s decking. You also need to work out whether or not you are going to make your yard’s deck using actual timber or composite materials. There are more advantages to using composite materials, but actual timber is much cheaper and is therefore a better option for people on tight budgets.
Cedar is also an option. Do you have a cedar deck right now? Have you ever asked yourself, does my cedar deck need to be treated? You can find answers on the internet for that. The reason that composite materials are better is that in the long run, they save you a lot of money. It’s much easier to clean, refinish, and replace composite decking boards. Additionally, many come with warranties. Timber decking can rot and be more cost-effect, but then again, it does tend to look much more visually appealing.
3. Building Permit
After you have found a material that you are happy with and worked out how much decking you are going to need, you then need to work out whether or not you need a building permit. In some states and countries, a building permit is required before you can undertake any type of construction work on your property, regardless of the project’s scale.
In some states, however, you only need a building permit if your deck’s height or size is over a set limit, which you can find by contacting your local government’s relevant department or professional. Do not begin work until you have received the all-clear, otherwise, they can order you to take down your decking.
Once they have issued a demand for it to be taken down, there’s almost no chance that they will give you permission again in the future, even if you did apply through the proper channels.
4. Deck Design
The next step is to work out how you are going to design your deck. You also need to carefully think through your deck’s location. Most people put their decks outside their back doors so that they can walk out onto them from their house. This is usually the best option, because it adds value to your home, extends your property a little, and gives you the opportunity to hold barbecues close to the house, so you can go in and out of the kitchen.
Another thing that a lot of people like to do is to make their decking extend from a second-story entrance to their home, instead of their back door. You could also build a freestanding deck in the middle of your yard.
5. Solid Base
In terms of building, the first thing that you need to do is to start with a solid base. Your deck’s base needs to meet all of your local building codes. Regardless of your deck’s size, its base footings need to be installed in concrete. This is so that it is sturdy and won’t fall over.
An improperly installed deck can be very hazardous, especially in intense winds or a storm. A deck that is set in concrete, however, is very safe. It is no different to a house, in terms of structural stability. You should hire a professional to install your deck footings for you if you are not confident doing so.
6. Deck Ledger
If your deck is going to extend from your home, then you need to install a deck ledger. A deck ledger is a beam that is attached to your home’s structure. The substructure of the deck is attached to this beam. A level deck ledger helps to ensure your deck’s stability.
Without one, you cannot safely erect a deck. It will ensure that if bad weather strikes, it does not fall down. It will also ensure that no matter how many people are on it, it will not collapse. With that said, do your research and find out your deck’s weight restrictions. Too many people can cause damage to a deck.
7. Place Carefully
When your deck’s substructure is erected, you can go ahead and put down your decking boards. Make sure that you put down your decking boards carefully. Ensure that they are perfectly placed and fit precisely. If you put down poorly fitting boards, then your deck won’t be safe for people to walk on. People could fall or trip through the cracks and holes.
Additionally, your deck will not be very visually appealing if it is full of holes and cracks. You should hire a professional to put down your boards for you if you are not confident doing so.
8. Fastening Boards
Finally, you need to make sure that you put down a reliable and sturdy fastener. If your boards aren’t held in place by something then they will come loose. The best fastening system is nails and screws. Hammer the boards into the deck’s substructure, ensuring that they are sturdy and well-placed. Test them out before you allow anybody to walk on your deck, so you can be sure they aren’t going to come loose and hurt anybody.
Building a deck on your property is a great way to increase its value and to add more character to it. It will also give you the opportunity to entertain guests and enjoy your property more in the summer (and even winter) months. Decks are a great investment.