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Building An Outside Deck

One of the most beautiful additions to any home is a deck. Not only does it add beauty, a deck also adds value to your home. But there is much to think of when preparing to build a deck. A poorly built deck can be a disaster. Following are 10 things to consider before you build your deck.

1. Purpose First of all, what is going to be the primary purpose of your deck? Entertaining guests -- you'll need to consider how many guests you want the deck to hold, because more guests equal more weight. A play area for small children -- safety is essential. Whatever your intended purpose, think it all the way through before starting to build.

2. Location, Location, Location The next thing to consider is the location. Landscaping issues may crop up exactly where you think you should place your deck. You should consider entrances and exits to your home. Access to your deck is essential -- if you can't get there, you can't enjoy it.

3. Deck Plan You will need to have a deck plan, which will serve as a guide for the entire project. It doesn't require a professional work-up, but you should be thorough.

4. Attaching Deck To Your Home There are many ways that a deck can be attached to your home. Although the deck can be freestanding, it is not very practical or safe. If you decide to attach your deck to the house, you will need to decide how you will cut away the siding at the joining point. You will also need to determine if the framing of your home is strong enough for the deck.

5. Deck Supports Deck supports are an important part of this process, so you will need to decide exactly how many footings and posts you will need, and where to place them.

6. Decking Material What type of decking material do you plan to use? Composite decking materials are a good choice because they have been chemically engineered to avoid the problems of traditional wood. However, if wood is your choice, redwood, cedar and pressure treated pine are all popular because they resist rot and decay. If you choose another wood decking material, you will often need to provide protectant and sealant material.

7. Permits Remember, different areas have different zoning laws and requirements so it is important to find out what permits will be required to build your deck in your area. While some areas require an official building permit, others will require only a periodic site inspection. Some require both. Check with your city government to decide what actions you need to take.

8. Tool Time Make sure you have all the tools on hand that you will need for the project. There may be additional expenses added to the project to buy these tools. If you do not have this kind of experience, you should consider the next point very carefully.

9. Professional Help Decking is a big project to undertake if you are a weekend handyman. If you have little construction experience, decking is not a good beginning learning project. Poorly built decks are very dangerous. If you cannot handle the project, it needs to be in the hands of a professional.


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