Tips to Building a Quality Deck

A deck is definitely a great addition to a property. This additional space increases the value of your home. Unlike the other spaces in your house, the deck has to endure the exposure to natural elements. Below are four considerations that could help you build a deck that could last for many years and one that fits your lifestyle best.

1. The Size of the Deck
Think about how you intend to use your deck and decide on the size based on your needs. No material for decking is completely maintenance free, so building a huge deck will mean spending extra time maintaining a space you do not really use. Also the size of the deck has architectural implications. Your contractor, architect, or engineer should size the pier footings, joists, and beams so your deck meets structural requirements and feels stable for the individuals staying on it.

Additionally, bear in mind that adding square footage to your deck will also increase the number of footings you must dig. Over-sizing a deck even by 2 feet in one direction will require an additional row of footings. Discuss the structural implications with your designer so you can have a deck that is the perfect size for your whole family at the price that fits your budget best.

2. Access to the Deck
The more difficult it is to get to your deck, the less you’ll use it for sure. A sliding door could be left open if there’s a screen panel installed to keep insects out. If your deck plan needs doors that swing outward. Check screen options before making up your mind.

3. Decking Material
There are certain wood species that hold up well as a material for decking. Redwood and cedar have natural properties that can resist the effects of elements. Pressure-treated lumber is a soft wood that has been treated with chemicals to make it capable of enduring weather conditions. The arsenic which was used before isn’t used anymore in pressure-treating wood. Merbau, Spotted Gum, Iron Bark, Silvertop Ash, and Yellow Balau are examples of good wood species for building decks.

4. Safety Features
Unless your deck is constructed at grade level, you’ll need to add railings. There are measurements to bear in mind. Limit the space between the horizontal slats and balusters to less than four inches. Most codes for constructing a deck allow a railing height to be anywhere from 36 and 42 inches. But bear in mind that a railing that’s 36 inches in height will encourage people to sit on it, defeating its purpose.

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