The Basics of Deck Building

The addition of a basic deck needs to begin with deciding where you want to locate the deck. The location should help you determine such elements as its size and shape. Once these basics have been finalized, it is time to get down to the steps involved in building that deck. A number of different components now must be incorporated into the construction process. 

You have an option when it comes to decking materials. You will almost certainly want to stick with wood for beams and posts, but you may want to go a different direction when it comes to the planks. Natural woods can be more expensive than synthetic materials, but those materials aren’t usually as aesthetically satisfying as deck made of redwood or cedar.  

Get the proper permits before starting construction if you are going to build the deck yourself. This process may involve an inspection or it may be as simple as getting a permit from the municipal building department. No matter how basic you may think your deck is going to be, it will have to meet certain codes and regulations. 

Decks can vary significantly in color. When choosing wood, you should also take into consideration staining and painting. Among the options to take into account are staining the wood its natural color, cross staining the wood to resemble another type and painting the planks. 

A basic deck can potentially be a better candidate for a cover than a large deck. The smaller surface area to be covered means that the addition of the cover won’t be as expensive. A deck covering that is permanent will also be required to meet certain codes and regulation, whereas a temporary covering usually will not need be regulated. 

Diagonal bracing beneath the deck can help prevent it from collapsing due to heavy weight. If you know that your deck is likely to be highly populated, you should elect to install diagonal bracing for added protection.  

Metal connectors are another good choice to increase the safety of your deck. Most connectors today are made of metal, but you may face the option of using wooden connectors. Many building departments will require metal connectors, but this is not true across the board. The danger of using older styled wooden connectors is their potential for either drying out and cracking or getting wet and rotting.  

Seal your deck as soon after construction is completed as possible to stave off drying and cracking. Wood begins deteriorating very quickly and once this process begins, it can only be slowed down and not stopped. You can reduce the chance for the process to start by using sealing that also adds an attractive element to your deck.