Adding a deck to the back or sides of your home is a wonderful way to not only increase your enjoyment of the time you spend outside, but to increase your home’s resale value. When planning for your new deck, the most important things to consider initially are:
Create a budget for your deck. Ensure you have a clear understanding of the life-cycle cost of your decking project. This means taking the installation process, the material costs and the maintenance costs into account. Homeowners who want an enjoyable, low maintenance deck that adds value to their home consider adding a Green Plank® high performance deck.
You can build any size deck you want within legal limits. However, a huge deck can look out of place next to a small house, just as a tiny deck looks wrong with a big house. If you think your dream deck is too large for your house, break up the expanse by building smaller sections on multiple levels. It’s probably best to build large enough for all you needs but not to go overboard. Think about what will the purpose of the deck be? Really knowing what activities you will be conducting on your deck will really help to design the proper sized deck for you. Determine what size patio table and chairs do you have or plan on buying. It is very important to plan in advance for saving space for table, chairs and walking around the table.
Shape and Decking Patterns
A deck can be any shape you want, and in fact, simple changes like an angled corner or a 45 degree decking pattern can dress up a house. You can also add visual interest by wrapping the deck around a corner, adding built-in benches, integrating a fence or screen on one side, or even adding an overhead screen. Here are a few of most popular deck designs for your reference:
Do it yourself or use a contractor?
If you’re handy with a hammer and you’re considering installing your own deck, DIY deck building can be a rewarding and challenging experience. It can also quickly turn into your worst nightmare. Even if you have the skills to build a deck, there are many reasons why building a deck is a job best left up to the professionals. There are a few questions to ask yourself:
» Do you have the Time?
A major game changer, time constraints can easily ruin your dream of building a deck. If you’re a weekend warrior with a 9-5 job, it can be difficult at best to find the time to build a deck on the weekend. A decking contractor will not only get the job done quickly, they will also set a time table so you know exactly when your new deck is going to be completed.
» Do you have the Tools?
Just because you have a hammer and saw, doesn’t make you a carpenter. Posthole diggers, nail guns, screw guns, laser levels and wheelbarrows are all basic tools that are a must-have when building a deck. If you plan on buying tools to build your deck, you may want to hire a professional that already has what they need to get the job done. Saving the money on buying tools can go a long way when you’re under a tight budget.
» Do you have the Insurance?
A professional deck installer has the insurance they need in case a problem happens. If materials are damaged or stolen during construction, a professional builders risk insurance policy is the only way you’re going to recoup the losses. What’s more, if someone gets hurt on your job (including yourself) a professional builder will have the workers compensation to cover any accidents or injuries that are sustained on your property, freeing you from any financial obligations.
Probably the most difficult decision to make when building a deck is what type of decking material to use. Decking materials are very different, there’s a huge variety to choose from and they vary in price and quality dramatically. If you want a family friendly deck material which is safe for kid’s bare feet, Green Plank® low-maintenance wood-composites should be your choice.
Decking Check List
- Use hidden fasters instead of face screws
- All screws, nails and bolts must be galvanized or stainless steel
- Make sure your deck is strong enough to be full of people, i.e. average weight 70 – 100 kgs each
- Make sure your hand rail (balustrade) is made to current building standards
- Leave a 3mm – 5mm gap between the decking boards
- Leave a 3mm – 6mm head-to-head gap between boards depending upon the both boards’ length