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7 Questions to ask yourself before building a Deck 

Jan 29

There is no right or wrong way reason to build a deck, but it is important for you to understand your reasons, your needs, and your options.  Reading this article and booking an appointment to speak with us will help you make the best decision for you house and for you.

The first questions to ask yourself when starting the process of building a deck are:

One number, why do you want to build a deck and how will you use it?

Maybe you want to extend the living area of your home.  Maybe you want to enjoy your outdoor space more.  Maybe you want to have a place to cook and grill outdoors.  Maybe you want more space to entertain. Maybe you want to put a hot tub on it. Maybe you want to decorate it with potted plants and herbs.  Maybe you just want to relax and read on the deck. Will there be children and/or pets on the deck? Do you need safety features? Maybe you already have a deck but want to extend it or are tired of the upkeep of old wood decks, or maybe there are safety issues. All these reasons and more will end up with different types of decks.  For example, the size, the type of wood, the ability to hold the weight of something like a hot tub, the type of stairs, gates, and railings, etc. 

Second, how will you maintain a deck?

How long do you want it to last and how much time or money are you willing to spend to maintain the deck?  The answers to these questions, along with the uses from above will help you decide on the type of materials you will use to construct the deck. Of course, your budget will also play a role here.  If you are not able to afford the materials that last the longest and have the least maintenance, then you may have to choose a shorter life, more maintenance, or a smaller deck. For example, wood decks are the most common and simple decks, but they require regular cleaning and staining.  It is important to have a professional deck contractor who knows all the options and can discuss them with you.

Third, what kind of privacy are you looking for?

The amount of privacy you want may decide the placement of the deck and whether you consider things like fencing or planting privacy trees and brushes.  Do you like a lot of sun or should you include a pergola or an awning?

Fourth, is there a certain style you are looking for?

What are your tastes? What colors do you like and what colors would look good with your home?  What types of railing do you like and would fit in with your home’s design and your neighborhood? There are so many options.  It’s a good idea to look around your neighborhood or in magazines and choose what you like to make sure your deck designer understands your tastes. For example, if you have a modern-style house, then you might want a deck with a streamlined design and precise angles.

Fifth, what are the weather conditions the deck needs to withstand?

The weather conditions will demand certain kinds of material be used.  Weather will also command the type of weatherproofing you will choose for your deck. You may even want to consider steel framing that ensures your deck won’t have structural problems over time.

Six, how much do you want to spend?

This is one of the most important questions to know the answer to.  It will factor into the size of the deck, the type of the deck, the materials used to construct the deck, the type of craftsmanship, etc.  There may have to be some give and take here to make your best choices.  For example, if the most important thing to you is that the deck is large then you may have to choose a less expensive material to construct the deck.

Lastly, how do you choose a deck installation contractor?

It is possible to build your own deck but unless you have expertise in contract work, we would not suggest it.  You will also probably be required to get a permit to build an addition such as a deck on your property. You should talk to at least 2 or 3 deck contractors, ask what their experience is and look at a few decks they have completed.  Next, discuss all the issues from the questions above and see if the contractor gives you good answers that you understand and works within your budget.  Decide, not only on price but also on the quality of the service you will receive.

A backyard deck can extend the space of your home to give you extra room to relax, to entertain, or to simply enjoy nature.  Answering all the questions above will give you a great start to achieving your goal of building a deck on your home.  Once you have answered all these questions, go out and speak to some deck contractors and get your deck installation started.