What to Consider When Building a New Deck

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If you’re thinking about adding a deck to your home, whether it be your existing property or new construction, there’s little wonder why! Not only will you enjoy this breezy outdoor living space, but depending on your region and the likelihood of selling in the future, a deck can add value to your home. So, make sure you build a great one! It’s one of the most cost-effective expansions you can make to a house, and that’s more reason to ensure that you do it the best way possible. Here are some things to keep in mind as you think about adding a deck to your home.

Understanding Deck Options

All kinds of homes can benefit from the addition of a deck, but the nature of the most appropriate deck will vary. For example, a home on a beautifully sloped lot naturally accommodates a deck, in both form and function. The grade of the land creates a raised position for outdoor living, which is perfect for taking in views and allows the deck to connect to the ground with stairs. Many homes on sloped lots appear single-story in the front, but two-story in the back, and incorporating an egress by way of a deck allows people to access the yard without having to go through the front door and walk around the house. Homes with walk-out basements and/or drive-under garages easily incorporate decks over these features.

A deck is still a great option for homes situated on flatter lots, too. An on-grade deck—that is, one built just above the ground—provides the same exterior living option that today’s homeowners love. The land should be cleared and excavated for drainage depending on the climate, and it might even require a sloped concrete slab to make sure water doesn’t pool just under the wooden boards. There should be space for air to circulate to minimize the risk of rot.

Choosing Lumber

Your home is primarily constructed with lumber, but there are different considerations when you’re looking for wood that will be exposed to the elements for years. Some people are choosing to go with dense tropical hardwoods, which are exotic and offer a unique finishing touch to a home, while others focus on the domestic products that can lend their hardiness and beauty from closer to home. The favoured species on the West Coast is cedar, which is full of natural oils that resist insects and mold, but it is much more expensive in other locations. For most, southern pine offers the perfect lumber solution; it can be grown sustainably, resists wear, and accepts preservative treatments easily, making it an all-around good choice.

The grade of the lumber should also be considered. The deck is a high-visibility area, so the general consensus is that clear wood is the best. The ring of wood just inside the bark of a log is the clearest part since it generally doesn’t have knots, and you can request this cut to ensure a more uniform and smooth deck.

Expanding Deck Possibilities

Your options for decks are greater now than ever before. Not only are there multiple lumber choices that allow you to create just the right look for your home, but you can also go the synthetic route and choose a beautiful deck that has the appearance of wood, but that is actually made of a durable polymer material that resists wear and tear as well as damage from mold. For the busy homeowner, this is an increasingly attractive option, and the warranties available on such products are extremely attractive, too!

Whether you choose to use natural wood or a synthetic, you can still customize the deck with your railing selection. While many people love the traditional look of wood pickets to complete their rails—and this does look perfect on many homes—there are other products out there that will open up the view even more. For instance, you can buy pickets made of metal like aluminum, which are thinner than wooden ones, or even glass, which offer a window to the sights to be seen between the top and bottom rails. This is particularly favoured for homes with water views.

If you’re ready to seriously consider building a deck, contact a contractor like Maliview Homes, who will help make your vision a reality! Our experienced professionals will be knowledgeable about what works best in your area and what other people have been doing, and you’ll benefit from our many years of expertise.

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  1. Thanks. These are a great guide. Most of the homeowners ( including myself) aren’t aware of this. This is a valuable piece of information.

  2. Before building out, make sure you know: which permits you need; the pros and cons of attached and freestanding decks. Even the purpose of why you’re building one.

  3. My uncle is interested in adding a deck to his property so that he could enjoy his outdoor view in style. Your suggestion of using cedar because of its natural beauty seems like a great idea! I’ll be sure to suggest that he look for a lumber yard that he could use for this project.

  4. Hey! Great job here. I read a lot of blog posts and I heard a lot about this topic but what I love about this is it was Very ingeneous .

  5. It’s great that you mentioned that the options for decks are more numerous than they ever have been. I would think that one of the advantages of a deck is that you can have an awning placed over it for some extra protection. An awning would allow you to use your deck even if it is raining outside.

  6. This month, my sister wants to install a deck so she can enjoy the warm weather with her kids outside. It’s great that this article explains that her land should be cleared and excavated before the deck is installed. This will be helpful for my sister to know so she can get the right material and height for the deck to fit the aesthetic of her home and also the furnishings she wants to put on it.

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