A deck is a beautiful and functional addition for every home. More than just widening your space, it serves as the perfect place for outdoor dining or landscaping.
While it's truly lovely to have a deck, you need to consider many things before you jump in. Here are 10 of them:
Why do you want to build a deck in the first place?
Do you want it to be the focal place for entertainment and dining? Or are you considering a deck for your patio garden or pool? Is it for the primary purpose of privacy?
It's best to have a clear purpose going on. After all, this can influence your decision in terms of location, budget, and materials.
Since a deck will take a lot of space, location is your worst enemy before the construction.
For example, if you have a small backyard, then your option will be severely limited. Those with larger areas, however, face the same challenge. After all, they need to review the following:
- Lot size
- Proximity to the house
- Sun and shade
- Rain and snow
The cost to build a deck often makes homeowners think twice. It's not cheap, after all!
Although this is the case, you can create a deck that fits your budget. But to accomplish this, you need to factor in elements such as deck size, design, and material. Plus, there are the extra features required, such as railings, flower boxes, and built-in seating, among many other things.
Your budget will also depend on the construction – if you're going to take it as a DIY project or assign it to a contractor.
That said, if you're thinking of making the deck all by yourself, then you need to evaluate your skills. Do you have a fair amount of carpentry and engineering knowledge? Do you have shop experience, or are you banking on what you learned in high school?
Even if you have all the free time in the world to create a deck, it's all for naught if you don't know the basics of construction. You may be saving money at first, but you may end up spending more with your failed DIY exploits. There's also the possibility of accidents since you don't know how to use the construction equipment well.
While hiring a contractor entails a higher cost, this professional is more likely to produce better results. It is a price you need to pay if you want a good, sturdy deck.
As mentioned, the material you wish to use will affect your budget.
Of course, you can expect to shell a lot for expensive wood, such as rosewood, elm, or maple. While they may be pricey, they offer the best value for money because they're sturdy and weather resistant.
If you want to minimize the cost to build a deck, you can go for cheaper pressure-treated woods. There's also composite decking, a less expensive material made of wood fiber and recycled plastic.
Other more affordable choices include aluminum and plastic.
Size, Shape, and Design
The bigger deck you want, the more expensive it'll be. That's because you are going to use more decking, lighting, railings, and the like.
Although this is the case, you can expect to spend a great deal if you want your small deck to be beautifully ornate.
As for shape and design, it's best to pick one that complements your house's structure. It should follow your home's architecture, proportions, and lines so the deck wouldn't look out of place.
For example, a circular deck with carved railings looks forced in a mid-century backyard.
While sunshine is still best, you will need deck lighting if you are going to use it in the evening. And it's not just one kind of light.
Depending on your deck's location and design, it may need lights overhead, on the wall, on the stairs, and on the path. It may even require an outdoor kitchen or landscape lighting.
How much light you need – and the fixtures you need for those – are sure to add on the cost to build a deck.
Seating, Storage, and Plant Boxes
If you plan on using your deck for eating and entertaining, then seating is a must.
Apart from buying outdoor furniture, you may consider having a built-in bench, too. Not only will this provide extra seating, but it may help serve as a form of railing as well.
Storage space is an option for decks, though you might as well have this done. After all, you will need a place to keep your garden tools, patio cushions, and even your children's toys.
Depending on your deck's design and space, you can go for under-deck shelves and storage decks. You can also opt for a lift-top bench, as this allows you to address seating and storage issues.
If you have a green thumb, having plant boxes is another element you should consider. Apart from its beautiful design potential, it gives you additional space to cultivate flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Even if you opt for a minimalistic deck design, you will not be immune to the extras.
For example, if your platform is a few feet off the ground, you will need railings. If it's located in a sunny area, then you will need to buy roofing or umbrellas. If there's an issue of privacy on your part or the neighbors, you will need to have a privacy screen.
Granted that you have all the factors mentioned above sorted out, you can't just go ahead and start with the project. You need to satisfy your area's legal requirements, the most vital of which is a county or city-approved blueprint.
Depending on your location, you may need to submit other papers as well. So, before you buy all the required materials for your deck project, you need to have this ironed out first.
A deck is a great place to relax and socialize. As it's a tremendous undertaking, these ten factors can help you prepare well for this project.