Want to build a deck? Before you start laying down boards though, it’s worth running through a quick checklist to make sure you’re covering your bases. Consider these six factors to optimize design, manage the cost of building your deck, and create the deck you dream of, not the one you end up with.
- WHERE CAN YOU LOCATE IT?
If your property size is limited then this will probably dictate where you can build a deck, but if you’re lucky enough to own a large garden then some planning is necessary. You might want to place your decking facing south east or south west to take advantage of the midday sun and evening sun to the west. If you live in a rural area, try to take advantage of the natural view.
2. HOW CAN YOU STYLE IT?
Determining the style may be the most important step of your project. You’ll want to extend your exterior style into your new outdoor space so it flows seamlessly. Take a look around your home. Check out the architecture. Ensure your new deck fits your home and lifestyle.
3. WHAT MATERIAL SHOULD YOU GO FOR?
It is good to be picky about your material while building a deck. Spend some time researching wood vs. composite, visible vs. hidden fasteners, or a wide array of finishes early on, and you’ll likely sidestep costs and headaches for years down the road. Buzzwords like deck maintenance, water-damage repairs, and replacements should be on the tip of your tongue while you choose your building blocks.
4. WHAT ABOUT SCREWS AND NAILS?
Low-quality screws and nails will corrode, discolour your deck and shorten its life. When the structure of decking fails, it is generally due to the use of faulty or low-quality fixings. Invest in stainless steel or coated decking screws that have been specifically made to resist corrosion.
5. HOW ABOUT RAILINGS AND PRIVACY FENCING?
Platform decks are the easiest to build but if it is higher than a few feet off the ground, you may need to consider installing railings for safety. Pre-built decorative railings can be bought directly from your local Topline hardware store and are quick and easy to install. If your deck is visible to your neighbour’s garden, or their garden is visible while you’re on your own deck you may also want to install some sort of privacy screening that will help block the view from either vantage point.
6. HOW CAN YOUR DECK BE MORE USEFUL?
The trick isn’t to limit yourself early on; it’s to anticipate your deck’s purpose. Fire pit, Jacuzzi hot tub, patio furniture, grill master station — picture yourself, your friends, your many or exclusive guests. How do you see yourself passing the perfect summer afternoon? Whether they are high school graduation party/outdoor book club/coworker beer-and-brats dial has fallen on you, and whether you’ve had this on your calendar for weeks or just got a sudden impulse for a kickback, you want to be able to say, “Great! We can have it on the deck!”