When you are having a new deck built in your there are some important steps in the process that must be followed. If you are only renovating the deck you will not need to follow all of these steps. The entire process is usually completed within just a few weeks after completing a few preliminary steps like digging the footer holes.
1. The homeowner will draw up their vision for the deck and communicate this to the deck builder. The building professional will know which materials and plans are the best for the project type.
2. The blueprint will need to be drawn up and all the materials accounted for. This gives the builder a solid price tag for the project.
3. The deck plans are then submitted to the local building authority for approval. Technicians will arrive on site to lay down the markers for underground service.
4. The area of operations is then marked out with stakes and string. Any of the sod that must be removed is also addressed.
5. Once the piers and footers have been marked in their proper places, the holes can then be dug and the posts installed in their spots. Then the ledger board can be laid down and the support posts added to the rising framework which includes the beams and joists.
6. Once the general structure has been set in place, the decking boards can be laid down nailed in place and properly trimmed.
7. Rails, stairs and other features can be added next.
8. Finally, the wooden structure can be stained and sealed for max durability.
The lower part of the deck features the supporting structure which carries the load of the deck and must meet certain code requirements, typically pressure treated lumber is used to create this, but there are other options available as well. For example, removing an old deck and using the same supporting structure to renovate a new deck is one way to reduce the overall costs of the project.
1. Composite Wood
Composite wood is created from wood fibers and recycled plastics and are valued for a few special features. They are soft under foot and also feature impressive durability. One nice thing about the composite woods is that they won’t require staining or sealing at any point in their lifespan. It should be noted that composites will begin to fade and lose their colors, especially if exposed to considerable sunlight. While you will not need to apply the same level of care and maintenance for a composite deck, you will find that they do need a certain amount of maintenance to maintain a good position. On the shady side, you will have to be on the lookout for molds and mosses that can build up over time.
Fiberglass is another especially popular option for decks today. Fiberglass can be painted, repainted and virtually lasts forever. Fiberglass panels can overlap each other to form a seamless slip resistant surface. This is especially good for decking over an area you want to keep dry. Fiberglass is also especially resistant to the effects of moisture, rust, rot and mildew. This makes them especially ideal for hot humid regions.
3. Tropical hardwoods
Tropical hardwood is another highly valued material. It is an especially difficult wood to work with and a bit on the expensive side. But, the investment will be returned in a longevity that surpasses all others. Even though they are especially expensive, these hardwoods improve the value of the home and deck for years to come.
4. Redwood and cedar
Sourced from western states, redwood and cedar is a halfway mark between the durability and costs of tropical hardwood and the somewhat lower durability and costs of pressure treated wood. Because of their natural tannins and oils, these woods will also not need to be treated with chemicals.
5. Pressure-treated wood
The most economical option is pressure treated wood that is treated with chemicals at high pressures to provide penetrating protections against all manner of wood boring insects. This option tends to splinter easily and is not the best option for walking barefoot. Pressure treated wood options must always be treated on the top side to protect from the attrition of the elements.
Final Notes on Building or Renovating a Deck
No matter how much outdoor space you have, adding a deck to your primary structure will add years of joy and relaxation to your demanding lifestyle. After taking the time to consider what you want in your little piece of heaven you can begin to plan a deck that will suit your purposes and bring you much joy.