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What to Consider When Building a Deck

Building a deck is a very valuable enhancement to your home. It creates a personal space where you can enjoy a quiet time with family and friends in the fresh air. It also enhances your home’s economic value and also complements the exterior design of your home. There are several things you must keep in mind and plan for as you plan to build a deck or patio. We have listed some of the most important of these to help you get the most out of the process and ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience. 

1. Get Your Permits in Place

Most decks require a building permit before the construction process begins. The permit ensures that the deck dimensions and materials meet the building codes and legal requirements in your local area. These codes usually vary from city to city and state to state and hence there is no single standard that you can follow. Securing a permit early on ensures that you do not run into unnecessary hassles later on.

2. Securing the right type of wood

There are various different types of woods available in the market and each varies quite a bit in their properties. It is essential to select the right material based on price, quality, durability, and aesthetic requirements. 

  • Pressure Treated Wood: This is the most common type of wood used for building decks and has a lifespan of about15 years. 
  • Tropical hardwood: Tropical hardwoods are extremely durable, insect resistant, and last up to 25 years. 
  • Redwood and Cedar: Similar to tropical hardwoods, redwood and cedar have natural defenses against rot and insects. Unlike tropical hardwoods, the wood is considered soft and can be damaged and worn by normal use over time.
  • Composite Woods: Composite decking is built from a blend of plastic and waste wood fibers, so it can have the texture of real wood, but it doesn’t splinter. Composite planks are typically heavier than most woods and are also more expensive.

3. Location

Selecting the right location to build your deck or patio is probably the most important decision in the process. If you have a larger house, you may have the luxury to choose a location else you will pretty much have to do with the space in the yard. Important factors that influence the location of the deck are privacy, view, sunlight/shade, availability of space among others. 

4. Size, style, and function

The size of the deck is usually driven by the budget and space available. When building a deck, have a clear vision of the purpose and functionality of the deck. Are you looking to use your deck primarily for relaxation, entertaining guests, dining, etc.? Would you also like to grow plants around your deck? The style of the deck may be influenced by the purpose as well as the design of your home. A deck should be designed to complement the external architecture of your home. 

5. Maintenance 

All decking materials require some form of maintenance. Wood decks are exposed to the external weather elements – sunlight, rainfall, humidity, snow, etc. and therefore need to be periodically re-sealed and re-stained depending on the extent of wear and tear. Composite materials usually require the least maintenance and are perfect for those looking for a low maintenance option. 

6. Budget

The budget is obviously one of the most important considerations when building a deck. The budget varies depending on the size, design, type of wood used, and extra features added like built-in seating, rails, flower boxes. We strongly recommend working closely with your contractor to see what you can do to minimize the budget while building your deck. 

We hope this list will be handy as you embark on the project to build your dream deck. Please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for our list of things to consider before building a deck. We would be happy to incorporate your ideas. If you are planning to build a deck or patio, MW Construction can provide you with top-class services at a reasonable price irrespective of the size of your project. To get a free estimate for your deck building project in the South Jersey area, reach out to us.

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