Invest in the Deck of Your Dreams!
Written by: Stephanie Stevens | Date: Monday, 29th August 2011
Dreaming of stargazing from the privacy of your own deck? Looking for a fun and impressive location to host your next barbeque? Wishing there was a deck in your yard that you loved?
Whether you’re the owner of a new home with grass but no deck, or heir to a home with a beat-up deck, you’ve probably had visions of having something just a little prettier to walk on when catching those morning rays. A deck is a great extension to any home, and today a nice deck is much more than a few two-by-fours nailed to support beams. Today’s decks are, in many cases, art pieces. They are pleasant spaces that people to the outdoors.
Create a Showpiece
If you want a showpiece deck, and you want it to last, there are several precautions to take. To get that professional look and sturdy build, it’s probably a good idea to consult a professional deck builder. They have much more experience in working out complicated details and a competent deck contractor should be up-to-speed on the latest materials and designs in order to suggest a deck to suit your budget.
But not all decks are created equal. There are deck builders that only build “what they know”. If you get your dad or father-in-law to help, that is probably what you’ll end up with—an unattractive or boring-looking carry over from yesteryear. Fly-by-night contractors may also cause more trouble than they’re worth if they do substandard work. Don’t believe everything you hear just because it sounds good. There is always someone willing to cut a corner which may save you time and money upfront, but cost you plenty down the road.
Do your own research. Check local building codes and gain good information from other deck owners. Consult with professional deck contractors especially when designing a deck over four feet tall or working with precarious soil conditions.
Start Right - Build it Solid
The decks of yesteryear, in many cases, weren’t given as much attention as decks of today. They might have been slapped together in a weekend, often at low cost. Over time, though, homeowners have discovered just what can go wrong with decks, sometimes learning the hard way, through disaster, disappointment or just downright frustration.
One of the first things anyone building a deck needs to consider is the foundation. Far too many homeowners try to get away with using flimsy support materials. Unfortunately, with too much top weight the support posts can give way, and the deck can fall down. To a lesser extreme, a poorly supported deck can settle into the ground or even slip, causing the deck to slope. Staircases of high decks can easily begin to wobble or slope if not supported correctly.
There are construction rules in place for practical safety reasons. These relate to providing the correct foundation for the height and size of the deck you want to build. In most cases, proper supporting structures can be designed, no matter the size of the deck. Even if your deck is to sit over a slope, there are supports available. Supports of this nature, of course, should have the expert approval of a professional engineer.
Use Good Materials
Many frustrated owners have faced rotting beams, warped and splintered deck boards, and peeling deck stain. Many homeowners will tell you how they feel about the time consuming and expensive refinishing and repairs they’ve had to make to their deck even a short time after installation. Most stain suppliers will tell you that a deck needs to be re-stained every two years.
Today it is well worth investigating a number of new materials such as one of several maintenance-free products. One style of maintenance-free decking is a waterproof vinyl deck membrane system. An overlay of waterproof vinyl material, similar to that used in yachts, is affixed to plywood to create a waterproof barrier over the solid foundation below. The deck is finished on the sides with vinyl siding. The area beneath the deck is then suitable for dry storage since this material is so leak proof.
Also available are a number of composite materials. Composite deck material is a mix of wood fibres with recycled plastic products, so in a sense, it is a green product. The result is a tough durable finish able to withstand all the family gatherings, hot beaming sun and torrential rains it may experience. A deck made of composite materials gives a homeowner the natural appeal of wood without the constant need for maintenance. Composite deck boards come in a variety of colours so you can create attractive patterns and your own unique designs.
A deck is now one of the main final additions to any home. A well-designed, well-built deck is a status symbol for any homeowner. Today’s homeowners can create unique decks that are showpieces—a place they enjoy and are proud of. Many homeowners prefer to put more planning and research into choosing the right materials today and save themselves time and grief later. Deck building isn’t cheap, so it makes sense that if you’re looking for more than just a platform to stand on to check the weather that you build it the right way from the start. Go ahead and start planning to build the deck of your dreams!
Connect with a Deck Contractor Today!
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