10 Things to Know Before Building a Deck

building a deck

Building a deck can be a daunting task if you haven’t done your research.

Luckily, we have compiled a list of ten essential tips to make the process easier. You are just steps away from creating the oasis of your dreams in your own yard.

Let’s get started on making your deck dreams come true.

1. Consider What Will Work Now and in the Future

When building a deck it’s vital that you consider the needs of your family now and in the future. You may just want someplace to put the barbecue for now, but as your family changes, so will your needs.

The possibilities are limitless. As This Old House explains, you can have a simple space for your family to sit in the summer. Or, if you choose, you can build an extravagant multi-level covered deck made for entertaining the masses.

It’s important to consider safety for young children or individuals with mobility issues. If an extended family member uses a walker or wheelchair, that may be something you want to factor into your plans.

You will also want to plan for some storage space for your deck furniture and accessories.

2. Don’t Break the Bank

Once you decide what you want, you need to figure out how much you want to spend. Home Advisor lists the typical budget for building a deck as anywhere from $4,053 to $10,117.

When factoring in costs, you need to consider the size of the deck you can afford. You must also consider what building materials you plan to use and the features that are important for your vision to become reality.

Doing it yourself can cut down on costs. But it may lead to headaches and huge expenses if you don’t have the knowledge or time to do it right. There are some economical ways to give your deck personal flare.

A professional will cost more but will also be a priceless source of information. Even if you decide to do the work yourself, consulting a pro could save time and money in the long run.

3. Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s

Permits and planning are crucial steps in any renovation.

Better Homes and Gardens cautions that it’s important to check with all utility companies to ensure you won’t be digging into underground cables.

Most jurisdictions require a building permit before starting any project. You may need to have a structural engineer review your plans if they weren’t developed by a registered architect.

Having a professional prepare your blueprints for building a deck can ensure you’re not delayed because of safety or paperwork issues.

Local building inspectors may decide to visit two or three times throughout the course of your project. They’ll want to make sure you have all the paperwork done before the physical work can begin.

4. The Right Stuff for Building a Deck

Not all supplies are created equal. The type of wood, stain, and other hardware you decide to use can make or break a project.

Decks & Docks Lumber Company deciphers what supplies, tools, and hardware are right for your vision.

It can be hard to know what choice is best for your project. It will all depend on whether your deck will be simple or an elaborate outdoor kitchen.

5. It’s About More Than Just the Wood

Now that you’ve decided what your deck will be made of, you need to figure out what it will be put together with.

Hardware, tools, and even the nuts and bolts you use make a difference in appearance and durability.

The right tools will cut down on frustration and time. Consult an expert or do some research on the best equipment for your project.

6. Get to Work

All the plans are made and the supplies are bought, so now it’s time to get to work. This will be much easier if you take into account things like weather, time, and space to do the job right.

Since building a deck is an outside project, you will need a few days of dry weather to avoid delays. Complications such as rain or snow can ruin the layer of paint you worked so hard to finish.

You will want to prepare your garden and yard for the work that will be done.

Measure twice and cut once is a good rule to remember so you don’t come up short. It’s worth a few minutes to make sure you have the measurements right. This way you avoid having to spend time and money fixing careless mistakes.

7. All Hands on Deck

There are inspectors, experts, and helpers that will be involved in making your dream deck a reality. It will save you money, time, and frustration if you communicate and plan accordingly.

A local building inspector from your jurisdiction could make several visits to ensure all codes are being met. While it may seem intimidating, this is for your own good and will guarantee your deck complies with all ordinances.

Consulting experts can help you prepare for inspector visits and ensure you comply with best safety practices. They will help you consider issues like preparing for hurricanes or other environmental threats in your area.

8. Safety First

More than 6,000 individuals a year have traumatic injuries from poorly constructed or structural failure of decks, porches, railings, or staircases.

Your attention to safety issues can save a life and ensure you don’t face massive legal or medical fees.

Taking the time to verify safety when building a deck will save you a lifetime of worry or regret from cutting corners.

9. Light It Up

To get the most use out of your deck space, you’ll need to add some source of light.

This may be planning to include a fire pit or to add some lighting above or below your deck.

10. Make a List (And Check It Twice)

Plan and be prepared for every possible situation by making a checklist and following it. Major time delays or safety issues can occur if even one of these steps is forgotten.

Take everything from the slope of the ground to the possibility of flooding into consideration when making your list.

Final Thoughts

With these tips, you’re ready to start building a deck to create family memories that last a lifetime.

We have lots of resources to help make all your DIY dreams a reality. Check them out today!