How to Build a Deck That Will Last

Residential backyard deck overlooking lawn and lake

Undertaking a big project such as building your own deck can be challenging, but worth it. Plus, you need to make the right decisions from the start. So, here are some tips on how you can build a deck that will last for years to come:

Amazing Mediterranean home at twilight with patio and open french doors. Spanish style home at twilight and open floor plan.

1. Decide on the size and shape of your deck

Before you get started on planning your deck, you first have to decide what size and shape you want it to be. The best way to do this is by measuring the size of your yard and marking the boundaries of where you want it to be, or drawing a sketch of your design if you prefer.

You should also consider how much space you want around the deck — do you want to use some of it for sitting or lounging? If so, make sure you allow enough space for people to move around comfortably. Also, don’t forget that the deck will need railings which will take up some space as well as the stairs and landings.

2. Figure out where to put your deck

The next step is to decide where you want the deck. Is it just for sitting around in good weather, or do you plan on using it for entertaining guests too? The best place for it is somewhere you pass by daily, so that if the weather’s right you can jump up and have a quick barbecue before going back into the house.

3. Decide on materials for your deck

Once you’ve decided on size and shape, and you’ve chosen a place for it, the next thing to do is choose a material. Decks can be built from various materials but wooden platforms are usually the most popular. If you choose to go for this type of deck, you’ll need to make sure the ground is level and even.

You should also consider what kind of wood you want to use since they come at different grades and prices. The cheapest option is softwood treated with preservatives, but hardwoods are more expensive but look better and last longer.

4. Consider the shape, design, and style of railing you want

Decks are surrounded by railings, which help to protect from falls and look good. You can buy prefabricated balustrades from a hardware store, which means you won’t have to build them yourself. Your options include steel, wood, and glass. If you decide to go for glass panels, treat them with a UV coating to stop them from becoming too hot in the sun.

However, if you do want to build your own, use a drill and a screwdriver to attach the posts and crossbeams. It could be a good idea to check out online platforms like Banner Solutions for the materials you’re going to need for your project, which can make a big difference in terms of both cost and convenience.

5. Plan your budget before starting construction

You’ll need to plan your budget for this project. Although it seems like an exciting task to build a deck in your yard, you should spend some time preparing. After all, there’s a lot to think about — not just the materials you’re going to use but also the time needed for construction and any costs that might come up while you’re working on it.

Having a well-planned budget can help to reduce any stress you might experience while building a deck, and ensure that the results are worth all your hard work!

6. Get a permit from city hall if needed (check with them first)

Because decks and patios can be used for entertaining, many cities require that you get a permit before starting construction. If the deck is less than 80 square feet (7.43 m²) and you’re not attaching it to the house, then you might not need a permit. Your city hall will be able to tell you exactly what you need, but they may require that the deck be built to certain specifications.

But if your deck is larger than that, or you’re attaching it to the house, then you’ll need a permit from city hall. However, what this essentially means is that you can’t just break ground and start building. You’re going to need a permit before starting, and the process can take several days.

7. Prepare yourself mentally — this is going to be a big project!

Finally, you’ll need to be prepared for a big project. Before starting to build your deck it’s best to set aside enough time and plan a budget. And if you’re hiring a contractor to build your deck, make sure that the terms of the contract are clear and binding!

You’re probably not doing this for fun, but to create a place where you can relax after dinner with your loved ones, or entertain guests in the summer. So consider that this project is going to be time-consuming and tiring, but also enjoyable!

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