Important things to consider before you build a deck
Even though many people believe that building a deck will take a lot of time, you need to know that with the right knowledge and information, this task can be completed in just a couple of weeks. The majority of aspects regarding the deck design are regulated by state and local statues in order to ensure the safety of decks and their users. You will be able to build a long-lasting deck, without any surprises along the day if you read and understand these regulations.
Below you will find a list of recommendations and advice that you can implement in your deck design to finish the work with success and as fast as possible.
1. Think about all of the possible setbacks
The majority of the planning departments wish to approve your deck prior to applying for a building permit. Depending on your region’s jurisdictions, each and every deck zoning requirements can be different. However, some of these requirements can be found in every state. One of the most important things to consider is the fact that setbacks of your home can be applied to the deck as well if it is attached to the house. Some accessory structure setbacks can be applied to freestanding decks. When designing your new deck, make sure you research all zoning constraints for your location.
2. It is a necessity or a caprice
You need to ask yourself a couple of questions before considering building a deck. How is the weather in your city in the majority of the months of the year? Are you expanding your house, pushing your indoor living space outside, from necessity or it is something that you want to do to create a space for your entertainment?
Make sure you answer all of these questions first before you put a plan on paper for your new deck.
3. Start with your deck foundation
The foundation is very important as it will support the deck throughout the course of time. In making the right foundation, you need to think about the concrete footings, anchors, post caps and deck posts.
Usually mounted at nearly 15 inches below the ground, footings are some kind of concrete pads that support the deck. This distance is not standard and can vary according to the frost lines and the type of soil. To ensure that the foundation will not cause any kind of problems to the utilities of your home, you have to request the assistance of a structural engineer to design the size and placement of these foundations.
Choosing the right deck posts must be made according to the height of the deck and the size and span of the area above. These posts must be placed inside the soil or concrete footings in order to ensure lateral bracing from earthquake and wind loads.
4. What about the location of the deck
Selecting the location where the deck of your house will be built is not entirely depends on various aspects, such as the spot in the yard available, the property size, the view that you want to have in the mornings and so on. People will enough space can consider themselves lucky, however, if your space is limited, make sure you talk to a professional designer that will help you choose the right location. Those less fortunate must think about sun and shade, wind, rain and snow, microclimates, privacy, and proximity to the house before deciding on the location of their future deck.
5. Imagine the frame of the deck
When choosing the frame of the deck, you should have in mind the same aspects you prepared for the floor. Similar to the floor, the frame is made up of deck boards, joists, rim joists, and so on.
The useable surface of the patio is created from deck boards. Besides being the most exposed to the elements, deck boards are also the most visible part of the structure. All the weight of the deck will be carried by the perpendicular joists.
Use blocking between joists in order to offer additional strength to the deck.
6. What is the optimal budget for your new deck
As we all know, every new addition or renovation you make to your house costs money. This applies to a deck as well. Here are a couple of things that you need to consider when making the right budget for your new project: intricacy of design, size of the deck, extras, contracting a professional company that can build the deck for you, choice of lumber and so on.
7. Pay attention to the materials you choose
People have the option to choose between two main materials when building the deck: wood and PVC. Both of these materials come with a number of pros and cons. When talking about PVC, you need to know that it has superior resistance to moisture and it is not a good habitat for termites and other kinds of insects. However, the downside is that some products look less wood-like than others. When it comes to wood, cedar or redwood would be the main options.
8. How to build deck stairs
Stairs are a very important element in this project as they connect the deck to the yard. You will need treads, risers, footing, connectors, stringers, and guardrails to build deck stairs. When creating the stairs, make sure you choose the right distance between the treads and the right number of treads. Think about a rise-run design in order to make your stairs as comfortable as possible. However, regardless of the design that you choose, make sure your final project conforms with code requirements.
Therefore, these are the most important aspects that you need to consider when building a deck for your home. Make sure you avoid horizontal balusters or mashers that might be easy for children to climb for the safety of your family members.