Are you trying to learn how to build a deck? If you’re new to construction, it is a surprisingly detailed process. Proper design and technique will be critical if you want to keep your deck safe to use. As you gather knowledge and start to plan your deck, use these five guidelines for deck building to keep your project on track. They will help you avoid the most common pitfalls.
1. Proper Deck Size
How big should you make the deck and where should you put it? While you can design your custom deck however you like, there are a few ground rules that can help you. When it comes to size, ensure there are at least five feet per person who will regularly use the deck. You may need to include extra room for entertaining. One good way to determine your size is to consider the size of furniture you want on the deck and make it large enough to accommodate it.
2. Building Codes and Deck Location
You should also look into local building codes to determine if there are any restrictions on the size or location of the deck. Some areas mandate that decks must be a certain distance from the fence.
Lastly, consider how high your deck will be off the ground and how that might affect privacy, wind, trees, and more. You may need to lower it for your comfort or add privacy features.
3. Foundation Considerations
The deck foundation is the most important part as it keeps the deck stable and safe. Small, short decks may use foundation piles, screws, or deck blocks. Taller decks or larger decks may require concrete piles to be safe. In colder climates, concrete may also be needed to resist the freeze-thaw cycle. Your building codes may offer some guidance on this.
4. Handrail Rules
Generally, any deck above 36-inches requires a handrail by building codes. Handrails need to be sturdy and properly anchored in order to provide support. This is especially important if you will have children on your deck, or if you intend to sell your home.
Want to add a beautiful deck in your backyard? Contact a Baeumler Approved contractor in your area today to get more information.
5. Know When You’re In Over Your Head
You know your own level of comfort in woodworking and DIY projects best. Sometimes you get stuck and need to reach out to professionals. There’s no shame in that. In fact, learning from the professionals this time will help you grow your skills and complete the next deck on your own. You might be in over your head if you:
- Don’t know what safety precautions your deck will have
- Don’t know how your project compares to building codes
- Can’t calculate how much weight the deck will hold
- Don’t know how to maintain the deck to keep it safe
In these cases, it is wise to reach out to a professional, who can fully explain the guidelines for building a deck.
Are you thinking about building a deck? Consult with a Baeumler Approved contractor in your area today to learn more. Find a Baeumler Approved contractor in Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and across Canada for your deck, fence, patio, and shed today!