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If you’re like most homeowners, you probably think about installing a deck sooner or later. It’s a great way to add value to your home and create an outdoor living space that can be enjoyed for years to come. However, before you take the plunge and hire a contractor, you should keep a few things in mind. By understanding what you need to know before building a deck, you can create a beautiful and functional area with little to no problems along the project’s journey.

Things to Consider When Building a Deck

1. Your Budget

One of the first things to consider when building a deck is what you can spend. You should make sure not to sacrifice quality for price but also choose a project that your funds will allow. There are many different options available, and because decks take up such large areas, it is easy to get carried away with the possibilities. Before hiring any contractors, know exactly what you can afford.

2. The Material You Prefer

It may be tough to decide what type of deck materials are best for your home with so many choices. Some options include pressure-treated wood, composite materials, aluminum and other metals, vinyl, and even plastic. The material you choose should reflect the values of yourself and your family. For example, if you are not too concerned about cost but prefer something that requires little maintenance, pressure-treated wood might be your choice. However, you may want to consider composite materials instead of vinyl or plastic because it is made with recycled content.

Also, it would help if you kept in mind that some materials are better suited for certain climates than others. For example, aluminum decks can stand up to rusting when they are built on the coast because of the moisture caused by the ocean. However, pressure-treated wood is much better for areas with a lot of snow or constant rain because it can hold up against humidity and water.

3. The Exact Location

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to ensure that the location you choose for your deck is flat and sturdy. If there are any dips or hills on the property you want to build, you should either have them filled in or find another location. You also need to ensure that water can drain away from the area and that the surface is even. You can use some sand to add additional strength to the soil before construction.

4. The Deck’s Size, Shape, and Design

You also need to keep in mind the kind of deck you want. For example, do you want a simple square shape with nothing extra? Or would you like some built-in benches and maybe even some stairs? Are you okay with a smaller deck, or is large enough for entertaining important to you? What about lighting; do you plan on adding any outdoor lamps or overhead lighting? All of these things can be customized to your preferences.

5. Additional Structures

You may also want to consider adding other structures, such as a pergola or other design elements that can add functionality and aesthetic value to your deck area. These kinds of things should be planned for before you get started because they take up a lot of space, and the beams need to be carefully measured for each structure.

6. The Layout

Before you get started, take note of where everything else in your yard is located. For example, if there are any trees around the area you will be building on, make sure to place your deck far enough away to avoid falling branches. If you plan on surrounding your deck with flowers, you should include that in the square footage of the deck area.

7. The Deck’s Purpose

Do you want your deck to be a place to relax and take in the great outdoors, or do you plan to use it for hosting events? If you have any special purposes in mind when designing your deck, make sure to implement them. For example, if you want a spot where the kids can play safely while you garden nearby, your deck should contain some type of fence or railing to keep the kids contained.

8. The Local Building Codes and Regulations

Finally, it is important to know what local building codes and regulations you need to implement when constructing your deck. These should be well known by the contractor who builds your deck and should be included in any contracts that are signed pertaining to this project.

These are some of the things to consider when building a deck. If you follow all of these suggestions before starting construction on a new deck for your home, you are sure to have a safe and sturdy place for you and your family to relax and have a good time. If planning a deck installation seems to be a daunting task, you can always work with a professional to do the work right the first time.