Building a new deck can be a great way to improve the outdoor living in your home. After all, most places have at least one season where you can eat and drink outdoors and where people like to be outside. However, in order to get the perfect deck for you, there are a few things you should think about before you start building.

Get it Approved

If you live in a neighborhood governed by an HOA, you will likely need to get a deck approved before you can build it. Educate yourself about the approval process so you can fill out your forms and do everything you need to do to get it approved. Ask about how long it usually takes to approve these things, so you have a realistic timeframe for when the building can start.

Know Your Materials

All deck materials are not created equally. Traditionally, decks have been made from pressure-treated wood or planks from cedar trees or redwoods. This is easy to work with and you can change its color simply by staining or painting it differently. It is also cheaper than other materials. However, it definitely deteriorates faster than other things do and so it will need more maintenance than decks made out of more expensive materials. It can also corrode metal fasteners, like screws.

Composite or PVC decks cost more to install, but they last longer and require less maintenance. If you don’t love things like resealing your deck, you may want to consider one of these products. They are also easier to clean and less prone to water damage than wood.

Think About Shape

If you’re planning to entertain on your deck, make sure it is big enough for the number of people that you want to host. If only half of your party can fit outside, it’s definitely going to make things awkward! Similarly, smaller decks can be better for hanging out and catching some sun, but you will want a larger deck if you want to put your hot tub or spa on it.

You may want to outline your deck in your yard with string stretched between stakes before you begin to install it. This can help ensure that everything you want to fit on it will fit easily and well. You can even measure out spaces for the furniture that you’d like to have on your deck, just to make sure that everything will fit.

Take Weight Into Account

Most standard decks are designed to carry 60 lbs. per square foot. If you plan to throw huge bashes on your deck or you want to install something like a hot tub, you will need to design your deck to carry more weight. If you think about this before you install it, you won’t have to go back under it and fix it later.

Decks can add value to your home and they are fun to have, too. Think through the process before you start work on your deck so you can get the very best deck for your needs.

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