How to Build a Sturdy, Durable Deck

How to Build a Sturdy, Durable Deck


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A deck is a great addition to your house. This extra space it provides increases the value of your property. Unlike the other places in your house, the deck must be able to endure the effects of natural elements. The following are considerations that could help you build a deck that could last for many, […]




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A deck is a great addition to your house. This extra space it provides increases the value of your property. Unlike the other places in your house, the deck must be able to endure the effects of natural elements. The following are considerations that could help you build a deck that could last for many, many years and one that fits your lifestyle best.

1. Size of the Deck

Consider what you will use the deck for and size it based on your needs. Take note that no decking materials is absolutely maintenance free, so constructing a huge deck means spending time cleaning and maintaining a space you do not really use. The deck’s size also has architectural implications. Your contractor, architect, or engineer should size the joists, pier footings, and beams so your deck meets structural requirements and feels stable for the individuals staying on it.

Also, bear in mind that adding square footage to it will also increase the number of footings you must dig. Over-sizing your deck even by 2 feet in a specific direction could require one additional row of footings. Talk to your designer regarding the deck’s structural implications so you would be able to get a deck that is the perfect size for your entire family at the price that is easiest on your pocket.

2. Access to your Deck

The harder it is to get to your deck, the less you will use it for sure. A sliding door could be left open if you have installed a screen panel to keep all insects out. If your deck plan requires doors that swing outward, check screen options before making a final decision.

3. Materials for Decking

There are specific wood species that hold up well as a material for decking. Redwood and cedar have natural properties that can endure the natural elements and insects. Pressure-treated lumber is a soft wood that has been treated chemically to make it capable of resisting exposure outdoors. The arsenic which was used before is not used anymore in pressure-treating wood. Merbau, Yellow Balau, Spotted Gum, Silvertop Ash, and Iron Bark are examples of good wood species for constructing decks.

4. Safety Features

Unless your deck is constructed at grade level, you’ll have to incorporate railings. There are some measurements to remember. Limit the space between the horizontal slats and balusters to less than four inches. Most codes for building decks allow a railing height to be between 36 and 42 inches. But take note that a railing that’s 36 inches in height will encourage people to use it as a seat, defeating the railing’s purpose.

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