Getting the perfect deck for your house is one thing but installing it right is an entirely different matter. If you are experienced in handling tasks like these yourself, then you can definitely save a buck on hiring a contractor.
In fact, the do-it-yourself option has been on the rise lately. An interesting survey confirms that over half of the respondents were confident that they could do home improvement projects themselves. Only about 41% of the people said that they would rather pay a professional than try their hand at the process.
Should you decide to install the deck yourself, here are some simple tips to help you sail through the task smoothly:
1. Get a permit for deck installation
Decks add to the value of your property, but building one often requires a permit. Every location has its regulations in place. Typically, the size and height of your deck determine the need for permission. As a general rule of thumb, a deck that is about ten by ten and two feet above the ground needs a building permit. It’s better to address this concern primarily to avoid any issues down the road.
2. Select the right material for your deck
It is often easy to fall for the looks. However, concentrate on the options of deck building materials that you have and pick wisely. Opt for materials that offer longevity and rich appearance for the years to come. Some of your options include pressure-treated lumber, cedar, hardwood, redwood, and composite decking.
3. Use the best fasteners
Using poor quality screws is one of the surest ways for building a deck that is doomed to go down. Low-quality screws tend to rust, discolor your deck, and shorten its life. Coated or stainless-steel screws are likely to resist corrosion, therefore, minimizing your work by adding to your deck’s life. Hence, invest in fasteners that boast superb quality.
4. Map out a design
Before you go into the deck installation business, it is critical for you to have a rough deck design in mind. Feel free to let your creative juices flow while keeping the shape, size, and features of your deck in view. This tip will also prove to be useful if you plan to play with the geometry of your deck.
5. Work out the deck size beforehand
Generally, it is thought a deck should be around 20% of your house’s square footage to prevent it from visually overwhelming the house. There’s no harm in having a larger deck though if you can design it into different rooms.
6. Concentrate on your footing
While working on installing your deck, pay close attention to the footing. The footing forms the foundation of your deck. Therefore, it is critical for the long-term stability and safety of the deck. Ensure that the footing extends further down the frost line and syncs with the local codes.
7. Install joists carefully
Make sure that you install the joists properly by securing them to the base with either screws or sealants. This is an essential preventative step against sagging. The joists should share the board’s durability to optimize support. Moreover, these should be aligned accurately to provide proper space between boards.
8. Consider installing a deck pergola
A deck pergola can add a polished three-dimensional touch to your deck. It’s a great option for attaching lights, hanging plants, speakers, and fans. On top of that, a deck pergola does a great job in providing shade.
9. Add space between the boards
Leave some space in between wooden floorboards as these expand over time with exposure to the weather. To this end, leave a minimum of 1/8 inch space between wooden boards. You don’t have to bother with this tip if you’re using material that is weather-resistant.
10. Plan some extra material
It’s best to have all the material on board before you get started. If you plan on building a deck that has hidden joints, then get additional 5%-10% of the material. If you have to do deck installation that entails a 45-degree angle cut, then you will need additional 20% of the material.
These tips are useful when it comes to building a deck. If DIY deck installation is not your cup of tea though, then you can always get in touch with a professional such as Terra Nova Landscaping contractor.