Site Evaluation “Location, location, location.” You’ve heard it before in reference to real estate, but it’s equally important when planning your deck. The size and layout of your property will directly impact what type of deck you build.
For example, if your backyard is a steep slope, a cascading multi-level deck will fit in best with the natural surroundings. If your deck is going to be nestled in a corner of your house, a simple, one-level walkout deck is best suited to your needs. When planning a second floor deck, it’s important to consider if you are compromising a neighbors privacy or if the height of the deck will place you too close to power lines.
Know the Codes Even the smallest of decks needs to be up to code. Deck Building Codes differ from state to state but most are based on the International Residential Code. Check the building department of your local hardware store, they will most likely have a list of deck-building codes for your state on hand.
Determine Materials Whether you want your deck to be made of cedar or composite materials, like PVC and fiberglass, you should always frame your deck with pressure treated lumber.
Pressure treated lumber is an inexpensive option that provides your deck with greater structural integrity than other materials. If you don’t like the look of it, don’t worry, when the deck is finished, you will not be able to see the framing at all.
The two most popular options for a wood deck are pressure treated lumber and cedar. However, depending on where you live, there might be other options available like Redwood or cypress. Cedar, cypress, and Redwood are good options for decking because these woods are naturally resistant to decay and insects. Wood decking is a great, cost-effective option if you want your deck to blend naturally into its surroundings. Whichever wood you choose, keep in mind how the wood will age, especially if you plan to leave it naturally finished.
If you are looking for a deck material that will last a literal lifetime, your best option is non-wood decking. Although wood decking tends to be less expensive, it is prone to rotting and susceptible to the elements. Non-wood decking, like is typically a combination of plastic an wood fibers. The plastic makes composite decking impervious to rotting, warping, and cracking. Synthetic decking is available in a number of different finishes, which saves you from having to put a finish on it and allows you to completely customize your deck.
Develop Deck Plans Even if you are using a contractor to design and build your deck, it is a good idea to draw up how you would like your deck to look. This is the easiest way to stay on the same page with your contractor, and it gives them a tangible image of what you are imagining. When sketching out your deck, keep in mind what you plan to use it for. If you are dreaming of a nice place for your family to relax during the summer, keep when and where the sun hits your deck in mind, and make sure that the portion of the deck where you will be hanging out is out of the afternoon sun.
For all the DIYers out there, deck plans are even more important. They will help determine your lumber and hardware needs as well as accounting for your deck’s functional purposes. Your drawings will need to be more exact and include specifications and measurements. To obtain a building permit, you will need two different drawings of your deck. A plan view, which shows the deck as seen from above, and an elevation view, which shows the deck from the side or the front. You can do these drawings by hand or use a deck design software program. Deck design softwares are typically more expensive, ranging anywhere from $70 to $700 , but offer the ability to preview materials and textures and create 3-D renderings. We have also listed some free designing softwares below, but keep in mind that they will have limitations and might not be able to accomplish everything that you need.
<< https://www.decks.com/deck-designer >>
<< https://www.lowes.com/cd_Deck+Designer+Planner_733683095_ >>
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<< https://timbertech.com/inspiration/deck-designer >>
Build Your Deck It’s finally here, the actualization of your imagination. Whether you are building the deck yourself or hiring a contractor, the steps you take up to this point are critical. Thoughtfully choosing your deck type based on location and need, making sure everything is up to code, and choosing your materials ahead of time will make the process easier and faster, so you can enjoy your dream deck sooner.