Installing a deck can make all the difference when it comes to entertaining guests and utilizing your outdoor space. Just think, that big, empty yard that turns to mud when it rains, or that less-than-attractive concrete patio outside the back door, could be transformed into a stunning, multifunctional deck!
If a deck installation seems like the perfect solution to your backyard woes, don’t start building just yet – there are some helpful tips to be aware of when it comes to outdoor decking:
1. Material Matters
Treated weather-and- insect resistant wood has been traditionally used for decking. However, the chemicals used to preserve the wood have been diluted over the past few years and it is no longer as effective as is once was. This is causing composite decking to become more popular. Though the cost is higher, you can actually save money in the long run without having to worry about cleaning, refinishing or replacing damaged boards.
2. You May Need a Permit
If you hire a professional to install your deck, they should know if a permit is required. This is usually the case for a deck over a particular height and total size. If you’re planning on building your own deck, it’d be wise to check your local building codes before starting.
3. Be Smart About Design
A deck might seem like a pretty simple project, but having a smart design can really impact its safety, durability, and longevity. For example, unless a deck is covered, it shouldn’t be at the same level as the door. There should be at least a 4-inch step down to prevent water damage, mold and rot. By installing the properly flashed deck at a level slightly below the home’s flooring, you can ensure that water will flow down and away from your home.
A solid base, level ledger, support beams and properly placed footings are also design aspects that should be carefully researched if you choose to DIY.
4. Apply a Protective Finish to Wood Decks
Wood decks need a protective coat of finish to maintain their integrity. A wide variety of stains and seals are available in different colors and opacities. Be sure you are aware of the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, and keep in mind that you’ll also need to clean and reapply a finish periodically – usually every 2 – 5 years.
5. Take Necessary Steps to Maintain Your Deck
After your deck is properly installed, it’s a good idea to read up on proper maintenance techniques. Here are a few suggestions:
• Sweep off leaves, dirt and debris regularly.
• Be sure to trim nearby bushes and trees at least 12 inches from the deck to prevent mold, moss, and rot.
• Move planters, chairs, and tables occasionally to avoid discoloration underneath the objects.
• Keep downspouts and gutters around the deck cleaned out and functioning properly.
Installing a deck can be a big project to tackle on your own, but if done correctly and maintained well, it can definitely be worth it! If you’re interested in having a deck built in your yard, but would prefer to hire a professional, contact us! We’d be happy to design and install the perfect deck to fit your needs, your style, and your yard!
The Medford Remodeling Team