Tips for Better Deck Construction

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, April 29th, 2019 at 12:00pm.

How to Navigate Your Deck ConstructionConstructing a deck isn't just a regular project for most homeowners. Though some homeowners may try building a deck as a DIY project, most let a professional build it. Tied up in images of backyard parties and barbecues, homeowners can become emotionally invested long before they even get started. This overenthusiasm is normal, but it can ultimately lead to mistakes being made or even laws being broken. Here are a few tips to keep the construction as linear and logical as possible.

Check the Rules

Most homeowners haven't memorized the building codes of Canada or their neighborhood. Some homeowners don't even know they need to ask for permission to first construct their deck. The laws for each home will depend on what province it's located in, and how their neighbors feel about maintenance. Some owners are free to do all the work themselves, while others may need to pay for a permit. Some may be required to hire preapproved contractors to install the deck.

Because home maintenance laws can be complicated, all homeowners are strongly encouraged to keep the official records (e.g., receipts, contracts, etc.) from their deck construction. Future buyers can use these documents to show the nature of the construction or to prove to a city official when the construction took place (in case the laws change).

Weigh the Materials

There's no doubt that wood decks look fantastic, especially when the stain of the wood matches the home perfectly. Treated wood is also a practical choice because it's resistant to both hungry insects and incessant rain. However, homeowners may want to keep composite wood as a potential option for the following reasons:

  • Cost: Composite decks are more expensive in the short-term, but they also come with warranties of up to 20-years or more.
  • Energy: Homeowners with tradition wood decks have to spend both time and money on regular maintenance. Composite decks require very little maintenance, making them a practical choice for homeowners who want to spend their summers enjoying the deck rather than working on it.
  • Resale value: A composite deck can often improve the home's resale value. The future homeowners know they're getting all the rewards of the outdoor space without having to put in a lot of the maintenance work.

Consider the Positioning

Freestanding decks aren't as popular as attached decks are, but they can be more practical depending on the specifications of the property. If the home is made from synthetic stucco, for example, then it may be too dangerous to drill into. If the home doesn't have a backdoor, then a freestanding deck is a much more cost-effective choice than installing a new door on top of the deck construction. If the home has a pool, a freestanding deck near can be more convenient than an attached deck that's several yards away.

Mark It Down

Westbank Centre homeowners should plan everything out when it comes to their deck. From the footings to the support beam, the deck needs to be stable enough to keep everyone safe when on it. Owners should measure the ground first and put stakes in along the way to get a sense of how the deck will look. Homeowners planning to hire contractors can save some money by doing these jobs themselves. Spray paint and flags will mark the corners and make it easier for the crew to law down the foundation.

Decks are a smart way to improve the value of a home, but homeowners will need to put some time and energy into their installation. These tips can make it easier to keep it all straight.

Justin Havre

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