Decks are a great way to increase the usable square footage of your Southshore house and increase its selling price. There are things you should and should not do before starting construction on a deck (or bringing in a contractor). To accommodate an extra dining set, a deck at least four feet in width is required. If you want to unwind, set up a fire pit and some lounge chairs.
How to Measure and Mark Out Your Deck Space is Detailed in Easy-to-Follow DIY Deck Plans. Do's and don'ts of preliminary planning are demonstrated in a video available at Lowe's. If you're doing the work yourself or hiring a professional, This Old House can help you choose the best material for your needs and your wallet.
Looking for home deck services? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Here we are once more. There are too many people on the deck. Demand for decks appears to be increasing (pun intended). While an increase in workload is usually appreciated, it can be exhausting to stay up. Make impressive decks quickly so you can complete more builds. New deck construction of good quality is one area where faster is better. The following are 10 dos and don'ts for constructing a deck that will impress your clients and earn you referrals.
15 Do's and Don'ts for a Deck Build
It's hard to beat a backyard BBQ or a romantic dinner for two on a deck. There is peace and quiet to be had even while drinking coffee in the morning. DIY deck installation? Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
Do talk to your customer:
Getting a detailed description of the deck will require spending more time with the homeowner. Plan everything out and seek permission before you jump in. A client's patience will wear thin if you have to start over because of a misunderstanding. How long do you anticipate this taking? Anxiety can set in among customers who "thought" the work would be completed ahead of schedule. Many problems can be avoided with proper planning and communication before, during, and after construction begins.
Do Your Homework
Applications for required building permissions should be submitted as soon as practicable. Waiting for a permission to get started on a project is one of the most frustrating things that can happen. Both the customer and the crew are experiencing frustration due to the situation. The customer is unhappy, and the team is bored because they have to do nothing except wait.
Do Educate your client.
Decking can be constructed from a wide variety of materials. Common decking materials include redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine. The price tag will be established by the quantity of wood on hand. The use of composite materials for decking has increased in recent years. This material is pricey, but it lasts a long time with little upkeep. The amount of foot traffic and the amount of direct sunlight on the deck are also crucial factors to think about. This aids in the selection of superior materials for both you and the client.
Don’t forget to use a building calculator to help you estimate materials.
Once you have your building permit and have started construction, do not make the same mistake that many builders do and under-estimate the number of supplies you will require. When you run out of tools and equipment mid-project, it's frustrating to have to stop what you're doing and go get more. Use a high-quality deck calculator to help you estimate how much wood, fasteners, and railings you'll need to finish the job.
Do consider the weather when digging footers:
It's a common blunder among builders and can end up costing a lot of money if you're constructing in a location with significant seasonal temperature swings, but it's crucial to consider. Given that the land will freeze and thaw with the seasons, it is crucial that you dig and pour the footings for your deck below the frost line. They'll stay put all year long, making your deck safer and more secure.
Don’t use any boards with warping, mildew or excessive insect holes:
They can easily decay and crack. Returning or exchanging faulty pieces of wood slows down manufacturing, which is already a major pain. Callbacks are even more irritating.
Don’t skimp on the deck fasteners:
Choosing the incorrect fasteners can have a significant impact on the deck's longevity and the quality of your reputation as a builder.
Do take time to plan the location and construction of the stairs.
Remember that you are not stuck using the same set of stairs over and over again. Adding steps to both ends of a wide deck will take your project to a whole new level. The addition of these steps will facilitate simpler access to the terrace. While the process is more time-consuming, the payoff is greater.
Don’t forget to check building codes for railings when building a second story or multi-level deck:
Depending on the height of the deck, a partial railing may be sufficient.
Do encourage your customer to enhance their new deck with accents like built-in benches, accent lighting and plant holders:
They may be hesitant to pay more at first, but after the work is done, they will be grateful they did and more likely to promote your services to others.
Do Consider what type of material will work best.
You can choose from a wide variety of timber types depending on what you intend to use it for. The most popular decking materials include cypress, cedar, pressure-treated wood, and wood-plastic composites. Learn more about the options available to you so that you can determine how often you will need to stain, seal, and maintain the material. Check out the cost breakdowns to see which options are the best deals.
Do Research what building permits are needed.
Deck installation often requires a building permit from your local municipality. For information on which inspections are required for specific building materials and techniques, contact the local agency in charge of building inspections. If you build a deck without first acquiring the necessary building permits, you may be subject to a fine.
Do Include materials for stairs and handrails.
Lumber The deck itself is the most vital part of the DIY project, but stairs and handrails are also required. Stair parts including treads, risers, and metal stair brackets will need to be sourced separately. Talk to a lumber expert after you know what kinds of pieces are needed to calculate how much will be needed.
Don’t forget your guests’ comforts and needs.
You need a safe and simple means of entering and exiting your deck. The structure's design must take into account its height, width, and load bearing capabilities. Think about getting a ramp put in if you have anyone in your family or friend group who has mobility issues and would benefit from easier access.
Don’t Cut corners on the proper and right amount of bolts.
Using the wrong sized bolts can cause serious structural damage to your deck. Decks are typically built with galvanised steel treated with a hot-dip technique or stainless steel. Consult with a pro to be sure you're missing none of the essentials for completing your task.
Don’t Neglect to include spacers between the wood planks.
Due to environmental factors and normal wear and tear, the wood may shrink and swell over time. Lumber may undergo changes due to this repeating cycle. Use spacers to ensure that there is at least a sixteenth of an inch (3.2 mm) between each board. That way, the room won't shake around too much.
How to Choose the Right Decking Materials
You usually just know when it's time to replace your deck. The decking materials' surface finishing is quickly deteriorating. If the rot is really bad, it could cause the boards to split or even fall apart. Worst case scenario, the framing rots away and the deck caves in, posing a serious safety hazard.
Hitch Property Constructions has a wide range of decking services Melbourne services.
If you find yourself in a position where your current deck may use some TLC, it's important to remember that the average cost of repairs can be in the low thousands of dollars. Depending on your location, the size of your deck, and the cost of labour in your area, the price of constructing a brand-new deck can vary from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
Whether you want to do it yourself or hire an expert, constructing a deck should take no more than a week. It doesn't matter if you build the deck yourself or hire someone else to do it. If the damage to your deck is minor, you can have it fixed in a day. Nonetheless, contractors' timetables are notoriously difficult to forecast.
The decking materials and their inherent advantages and disadvantages will be discussed in the following paragraphs. But first things first: figure out if you need to replace or fix that deck.
Should you Repair your Deck?
Find out if the frame has rusted. Due to structural deterioration, the deck has collapsed. Corrosion can be easily observed in some cases, such as when it causes the deck frame to deteriorate. Seek the assistance of an expert if you are not skilled in woodworking. We will be checking the stability of the handrails and the stability of the stair connectors.
Decks that are sound structurally but have worn planks and rails are simple repairs. Repair the broken planks and railings. Decks sometimes merely need to be refinished.
The weight of modern materials is unknown. During these times, extra support for the deck is required. Extra maintenance could be as expensive as buying a whole new deck.
The cancer-causing preservative chromate copper arsenate was commonly used on older decks constructed prior to 2004. The chemical can be blocked by having the deck refinished professionally.
Types of Decking Materials
There is a wide variety of decking materials available now, each with its own set of pros and cons. With the hope of assisting you in selecting the best decking material, we've compiled a handy summary of the most popular types of decking materials.
Check out our Melbourne decking services services here.
Wood from sustainable forests has been chemically treated to prevent decay, mould, and insect infestation in this product. In addition to being cheap, it's also quite accessible. However, age can cause it to split, bend, or crack. In addition, periodic upkeep, such as annual power washing and restaining, is essential.
Those who value a chemical-free lifestyle and a reduced impact on the planet may want to avoid using pressure-treated wood or other decking materials. Despite this, it is the most cost-effective material for decking.
Those who are concerned about the chemicals used in the pressure-treating of lumber may look into purchasing natural woods instead. Various varieties of wood, such as redwood and red cedar, have a natural resistance to rot and insects because of the presence of oils and tannins in the wood. Among the many tropical hardwoods, tigerwood and ipe stand out for their inherent durability.
It is crucial to do your homework when looking for decking materials like this because not all wood is the same. Furthermore, just like pressure-treated lumber, natural woods like redwood need to be power washed once a year and refinished every few years. Because different types of wood require different levels of maintenance, it is crucial to do your homework. Wood can range in price from very low to very high, depending on both the quality and type of wood being purchased.
This decking material combines wood fibre and plastic in its construction. It is a choice that lasts much longer than genuine wood and doesn't rot, splinter, or distort. Even while refinishing isn't required, giving it a new coat of paint or stain might give it a fresh look.
Some people may not like the look of alternatives to genuine woods since they lack the inherent texture and colour of real wood. However, this material has a more synthetic look than real wood. Mold and deterioration could set in after some time has passed. When compared to the costs of many other decking options, you may anticipate spending somewhere in the middle.
These decks are typically made out of PVC or polythene, two widely available and inexpensive materials. Plastic timber, which is made from 100% recycled plastic, is another option. Because it does not rot or deteriorate, plastic has a longer lifespan than other materials.
The lightness is just an added bonus. Those who prefer the more conventional design may be put off by the fact that this trend is taking a further step away from the natural elegance of hardwood. It may also be slick and droop over time. Like composites, prices have a tendency to settle in the centre of the spectrum.
Aluminum is a top choice for decking due to its durability and longevity. It doesn't decay, is impenetrable by insects, won't support mould growth, won't split or warp, and has a very long lifespan for its finishes. The biggest downside is that it's the most expensive decking option. Not everyone would appreciate a metal deck because of its clinical appearance.
Evidently, there are pros and cons to using any possible decking material. Therefore, your budget, your level of comfort with deck upkeep, the needs of your backyard get-togethers, and your aesthetic preference will define the best decking material for you.
Also, if the price of deck maintenance is near to the price of a new deck, it may be best to just replace it with a new deck that will last longer.
The addition of a deck to your Southshore home is a terrific method to boost both its market value and its living space. The minimum width of a deck should be four feet in order to comfortably include an additional dining table. There are proper and improper ways to build a deck so that it will be admired by your customers. Numerous materials are suitable for use in the construction of decking. Redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine are all popular choices for decking materials.
The number of decks constructed with composite materials has risen in recent years. To better estimate the amount of decking you will need, use a high-quality deck calculator. There is a good chance that you'll need a building permit from your city hall in order to put in a deck. Without the proper authorisation, building a deck could result in a hefty fine. Even though the deck is the most important aspect of the Do It Yourself job, you'll also need steps and handrails.
Hot-dip galvanised steel or stainless steel is commonly used for deck construction. Put a minimum of a sixteenth of an inch (3.2 mm) of space between each board using spacers. Repair costs typically range from the hundreds to a few thousand dollars. Now, a homeowner can choose from a large range of decking materials, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. If the framework of your deck is solid but the planks and rails are worn, fixing them won't take long at all.
The price of additional maintenance can equal that of a brand new deck. Alternatives to real wood may not appeal to everyone due to their lack of character and texture. The alternative is plastic lumber, which is constructed from 100% recycled plastic. Due to its resilience and lifespan, aluminium decking is a popular option.
- There are too many people on the deck.
- Make impressive decks quickly so you can complete more builds.
- It's hard to beat a backyard BBQ or a romantic dinner for two on a deck.
- Waiting for a permission to get started on a project is one of the most frustrating things that can happen.
- Adding steps to both ends of a wide deck will take your project to a whole new level.
- Do Include materials for stairs and handrails.
- Using the wrong sized bolts can cause serious structural damage to your deck.
- But first things first: figure out if you need to replace or fix that deck.
- Repair the broken planks and railings.
- There is a wide variety of decking materials available now, each with its own set of pros and cons.
- With the hope of assisting you in selecting the best decking material, we've compiled a handy summary of the most popular types of decking materials.
- Furthermore, just like pressure-treated lumber, natural woods like redwood need to be power washed once a year and refinished every few years.
- This decking material combines wood fibre and plastic in its construction.
- Aluminum is a top choice for decking due to its durability and longevity.
- Evidently, there are pros and cons to using any possible decking material.
- Therefore, your budget, your level of comfort with deck upkeep, the needs of your backyard get-togethers, and your aesthetic preference will define the best decking material for you.
- Also, if the price of deck maintenance is near to the price of a new deck, it may be best to just replace it with a new deck that will last longer.
FAQs About Building decks
A layer of crushed gravel, with or without plastic or weed barrier cloth, is the best choice for using under a deck. It sheds moisture instead of absorbing it, keeps the area under the deck drier, and won't decay.
Yes, you can build a deck directly on the ground, but with some conditions. A deck on the ground must be built with ground-contact wood, and the substructure needs to be adapted for minimal height. Even though technically a ground level deck is elevated up to 24”, here we will discuss decks built less than 8” high.
Large decks that are attached to the house should always have footings because they act to spread the heavy load of the deck from the surface of a support post over a large surface of the soil so the ground can adequately support it.
Starting with your perimeter, mark the location of each deck post to locate the fitting position. In general, posts should be spaced no more than 8 feet apart. Some builders position them every 4 feet for a completely rigid frame. The maximum distance between footings is determined by the size of your joist material.
Deck posts must be a minimum of 4×4 according to the IRC but many jurisdictions require a 6×6 post as a standard. To avoid code violations, many deck builders choose the 6×6 even if the 4×4 is acceptable.