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Key Questions to Ask Before Building a Deck

Is there a good view? If you have a great landscape to work with, then your deck-building investment will be worth it. Decking is best suited for areas near water or somewhere that can take advantage of the scenery and natural light – so make sure to factor in those considerations when making an architectural plan. Is space too tight? This may not seem like much because many homes are built with yards that don’t leave any room at all for the play area- but if this isn’t something you’re interested in, consider going down one level instead!

Decks provide another living space we often overlook by thinking they need more outdoor patio than open green lawns; Here are key questions you should ask yourself before building a deck:

What is the size of your property and how much deck space would you like to have

If you don’t have a large yard, you may be feeling limited in your choices for adding a deck because of space considerations. After all, if there is nowhere to put it, then what’s the point? But take another look at that view; perhaps instead of building on top of ground level and taking up large amounts of land- why not go down one level!

How far apart do the beams need to be? (Minimum 8" between 1st & 2nd-floor joists/beams)

This is an important question that should also be considered the load-bearing capabilities of each beam given their surroundings. For example, how many people are regularly going to use this outdoor platform? How much weight will they be carrying with them onto the deck?

If your deck isn’t for a residential setting, then the average joist spacing is typically 24″ apart; if you’re only planning on sitting and relaxing without any other outside fun activities – 12″ should be plenty. Don’t forget to factor in the amount of foot traffic while doing this as well; more people = greater spacing between each joist.

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What style of deck do you want to build?

There are many different styles of decks, and the type you want to build will depend on your needs. If you’re a beginner, try out one of the three basic deck designs: The Standard Deck, The Modern Deck, or The Extended Deck.  These are very basic and are great to use as a starting point before doing more complicated styles.

One of the most popular deck types is the screened-in sleeping porch; it’s a great blending between the indoors and outdoors, making it perfect for those who value both worlds. If you’re interested in building an outdoor room, then Basic Deck Designs is a good place to start.

What Type of Material Do You Want to Use

There are lots of different materials you can build a deck out of, and choosing the right one will depend on your budget and style of home. If you want to give your home a more custom look, these choices may work well for you:

Wood Decks:  The most common type of deck is made with pressure-treated wood; there are multiple different types you can choose from that will have their own pros and cons.

Any style of home, whether it’s a small ranch house, an apartment complex, or even a log cabin – wooden decks can be built to match the look of your property while also being durable enough to stand up against everything mother nature has to throw at it. Pressure-treated pine is one of the most commonly used woods when building decks. With more than available choices in options of colors (including rot-resistant cedar), this material is very versatile and easy to work with. You can purchase lumber from local hardware stores or build smaller projects using scraps you find around your house (just be sure to use untreated wood).

Wood is the most popular material used to build decks; it’s inexpensive, looks nice, and most importantly- is pretty easy to work with. But there are several things you should take into consideration when building a deck out of this material:

You may have to replace planks that are warped or begin rotting over time which can be costly if they’re unevenly distributed in one area (as opposed to being spread out evenly throughout the entire deck.)

Alternatives: Metal decks are a great option if you want a low-maintenance deck that will last long without the need for regular upkeep. If your home already has an industrial or modern design style, then stained concrete may be exactly what you’re looking for! This material is very popular and affordable compared to other decking options, but it may not work well for those with smaller yards to work with.

What type of finish or material will you be adding to your deck?

This includes whether you’ll be painting or staining wood, what kind of material your DIY platform will include: PVC piping or Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), what color paints to use on top of this – there are endless possibilities!

When it comes to painting or staining your deck, be sure you test the stain in an inconspicuous area first; you don’t want to cover up wood grain and then have to strip off another layer of paint. Most stains will only last a year before needing to be reapplied, which is why many people choose to use latex or acrylic paints instead.

Wooden decks are typically stained using a solid color – not just two-tone paint. You should always put on at least two coats of paint (or more if needed) for maximum protection from the sun’s UV rays and other weather elements; this will also keep your deck looking new for years without you having to do much maintenance work! An alternative to wood is glass-reinforced polymer (GFRP) plastic lumber. This material is also extremely durable and lasts longer than wood, but it may be difficult to find contractors experienced in working with this type of decking.

You’ll need to make sure your deck includes proper footings that are strong enough for the material you’re using; wooden decks should include footings or posts that are driven into the ground at least 12 inches (or 2×4’s spaced every 4 feet.) Be mindful of where your deck will be built when selecting a location for support beams; there should always be one underneath each end of the platform. Make sure they’re level so your platform isn’t crooked!

There are several choices for platforms including recycled plastic (plastic lumber), treated lumber, or composite wood products. Treated lumber (aka pressure-treated) is a great choice for decks because it’s very durable and lasts longer than untreated wood, but this also means you’ll have to apply more chemicals during the building process. Composite wood products are made of recycled materials, which will save money and reduce your carbon footprint; however, it may be difficult to find contractors familiar with working with these types of materials.

A wooden deck should be built using spacers to ensure each plank fits tightly together without any gaps in between them – this keeps water from seeping through the cracks as well! The deck’s railing can add character and style in addition to safety, so make sure they’re sturdy enough to hold everyone who steps onto the deck without a problem.

Do you need an overhang for protection from the sun?

If so, then how much are you willing to spend on materials like railing parts and synthetic lumber for beams? This can change up the overall look and feel that you’re going for, but it’s important to remember that more money spent on materials also increases the value of your home. If you want to keep costs down, then consider working with a local lumber company for recycled materials that are still in great condition.


How do I build my deck?

The next step is knowing exactly how to put it together; Getting professional help is always recommended. There are many factors that go into building a deck, including how long it will take and the price you’ll be paying to have someone else do it for you. If your budget is tight or time is not on your side, then there are other options available:

DIY – This option entails all of the work being done by yourself; this will save money but could also take more than expected to complete. You should consider whether you’re going to want help from friends and family, or if you can do everything yourself with some effort and skill!

You may want to hire a professional contractor if:

  • You’ve never built anything like this before
  • Your DIY skills aren’t up to par with what’s needed
  • Your time is valuable and you don’t want to spend it doing the work yourself
  • You couldn’t find what you need for a DIY project in your area (like building materials)

Decks can be built almost anywhere, but there are some considerations that will make this process easier. When designing your deck, remember these factors: geographic location, local weather patterns and needs, the architectural style of home, view of home’s exterior (if applicable), and size of the property.

Bird's eye view of a backyard deck

Knowing How Much You Can Spend

If you’re on a tight budget, then you should definitely keep the project costs in mind when planning your deck. Your budget will be determined by several different factors including how many materials you’ll need to purchase, what kind of wood will work best for your deck, and whether or not you want to spend more money on synthetic lumber such as Ipe; this is all a matter of preference and may depend on where you live.

How much are you willing to spend?

Once you decide on a budget amount, then it’s time to start researching contractors that can help design and build the perfect deck for your home! If you’re unsure of whether or not you have enough money to complete the project, then consider asking a few contractors about their pricing structure so you can review what they consider to be a small, medium, and large job. It’s also possible that your contractor may offer financing options for larger projects; this will help you get the deck you’ve always wanted!

Be sure to ask potential providers about any hidden fees associated with building materials – especially if you aren’t planning on purchasing them from their company. Keep in mind that even though some companies advertise low rates, they might charge extra for certain items like additional lumber boards or Ipe lumber; it’s best to create a list of everything needed so there are no surprises at check-out time.