10 Things You Should Know Before Building a Deck
(Part 1)

There are many reasons why you might want to build a deck. Decks can be the perfect transition between your house and your yard. Plus, when done correctly, they can be an amazing place for you to relax, as well as the perfect place to entertain guests.

While building a deck may sound like an overwhelming task, when you plan it out correctly, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. But prior to getting started there are a few things that you will need to know.

So after you have decided upon the type of deck you would like, what activities you are going to be using the deck for and the size of the deck, you are almost ready to get started. Before you do, however, here are 10 things you should know before building a deck.

Selecting the Right Decking Materials Traditionally, wood is used for making decks. While there are several different options such as insect-resistant, naturally weathered or treated, when it comes to types of wood, it is best to select the one that is best suited for your needs. And for whatever reason wood isn't what you are looking for, then composite decking is becoming growingly more popular. If your main goal is to keep cost low, composite decking may be the way to go. With the cost of refinishing, cleaning and potentially have to replace some wood deck boards when they go bad, composite decking can actually save you in the long run. Plus, composite decking can have a warranty of up to 20 years or even more.

  1. Find Out Whether or Not You Need a Permit

    Before you get started building your dream deck, do a little homework with the city and find out whether or not you need a permit. While this is mainly a concern if you plan on building a deck that is over a certain size or height, you definitely don't want it to become a problem later down the road.

  2. Decide the Design and Location

    First thing is first. You need to decide where in your yard that this new deck is going to be built. Is it going to be on the second story, freestanding, attached to the house or back door, etc. Once you have a location in mind, the next step is to come up with a design. This may sound involved, but there is software available that will assist you in designing your deck and will even create a list of the materials that you will need, depending upon the design.

  3. Make Sure to Build a Solid Base

    When building a deck, the base is by far the most important part. If the base is poorly made and not stable, the entire deck can fall down. This would be bad. So be sure that the footings meet any local codes and are all installed correctly. Depending upon where your deck is being built (a hill, flat yard, etc.), will determine what depth the footings will need to be and how much concrete will be required.

  4. Prepare for the Ledger

    If you decide to have your deck attached to your house, you will need to have the ledger set properly. A ledger is a large, wooden beam that is attached to the home, and also where the substructure of the decking is housed.

Ready for the rest of the list? You can find it here.