Have you thought about building a deck on your property?
If you want to expand the usable space in your home, a deck is a must-have. The area can bring family and friends together and it can also be a place for you to hang out and relax.
However, not all homeowners can say that they know how to build a deck. Before you DIY, let’s look at the basics of building a deck, as well as some common mistakes that you should avoid.
How to Build a Deck: What You Need to Know
It can be tempting to take on a deck-building project by yourself. However, a DIY approach might not follow the best construction practices. You could end up with a deck that isn’t up to code.
The results of mistakes made when building a deck range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening situations. More than being an eyesore, a badly built deck can be dangerous to use. Consider engaging the services of a professional deck builder or at least consulting them for expert advice.
5 Avoidable Mistakes When You’re Building a Deck
Most deck-building project mistakes stem from oversight. Here are five things to watch out for when figuring out how to build a deck to extend your home space.
1. Failure to Check Local Codes or Get the Required Permits
Before you draw up your deck plan, consult local codes, and ask if you need a permit.
Regulations are often based on the International Residential Code (IRC), though each locale will have its amendments. You will often find this information on official county or city websites.
2. Incorrect Materials, Fasteners, and Hardware
For low maintenance, PVC materials or composite woods are best. However, they won’t feel like exotic hardwoods common in high-end homes. The floorboard treatment must also match where the deck will be built for maximum durability.
DIY homeowners may attempt to use screws and nails leftover from other renovations, but this would be a mistake. Use only fasteners, joist hangers, brackets, and other hardware specifically approved for deck-building projects.
3. Wrong Placement of Beams, Joists, and Support Post Footers
Footers should be in soil that’s undisturbed. The minimum extension below the surface level is a foot. With disturbed soil, you may need to double the depth.
Horizontal beams should rest on top of support posts before being attached with bolts, nuts, and washers. Do not attach them to the side of your supports.
Joist spacing underneath deck boards depends on the material. For example, composite boards are not as solid as hardwood, so the spacing underneath them should be tighter.
4. Failure to Seal the Deck With Waterproof Coating
Apply waterproof coating as soon as your deck-building project is done.
A deck that’s swept clean is in the best condition to be sealed. Sealing won’t work as well when the wood is covered in dust and dirt. Coatings applied without preparing the deck may cause discoloration and provide way less protection.
5. Not Installing Handrails to Cut Costs
If you have more than four steps on the stairs of your deck, it must have at least one side with a continuous handrail.
Many local building codes don’t require handrails for decks with an elevation under 30 inches. However, that’s still a drop of over two feet. No handrails can save you money but it won’t give you peace of mind – particularly if your household includes small children or older people.
Let Nortex Fence & Patio Help With Your Deck-Building Project
A deck you can count on needs to withstand constant foot traffic and changing weather conditions.
When you entrust building your deck to Nortex Fence & Patio, expect high-quality workmanship and professional services with a personal touch. We also recommend deck plans based on your property, needs, and lifestyle.
Looking for a Dallas-based team of builders for your deck-building project? Contact Nortex Fence & Patio for a free estimate today.