Building a deck may look simple, but it’s not always as easy as it seems. There are many things to consider, and without the right plan, you may be disappointed with the outcome. So, what should you consider before you start building your dream deck? Here are OnGrowing Works’ recommendations:
1. Consider the type of deck you want to build.
Whether you’re building the deck by yourself or hiring a contractor, it all comes down to research. Formulate your idea by looking on social media (Instagram and Pinterest are great sources) or reading blog posts. Also check out decking stores. Look at their models and hardware and see what you like. Keep in mind that a deck can have more than just horizontal elements, so in your research you may want to consider vertical elements like a pergola, handrails and privacy screen.
2. Consider how the space will function.
Will your deck hold a barbeque, and do you want a large or small dining area? Will you include plants and ornamental lighting, and what other activities will be done on the deck? These are all questions to ask to determine how the space will function. Also, as part of your plan, consider how you will stage it. What furniture do you want? Do you prefer a patio table with chairs or a sectional? In addition, don’t forget to consider how the deck will interact with the rest of your yard. Where does the sun and shade fall, and how will it affect your deck? If you include vertical elements, will you be blocking windows or current views? We recommend spray painting the shape of the deck on your lawn so you can see how big it will be and then adding furniture to see how it fits. This also lets you watch the sun move across the yard so you can see where you’re going to put your shade elements and determine where the wind blows.
3. Consider permitting.
If your deck is over two feet, you will require a permit to build it. Once you know the size of deck you want, submit the permit application to your municipality so that waiting for approval won’t hold up your construction time.
4. Consider your materials and future maintenance.
At OnGrowing Works, our favourite material is composite decking because it’s maintenance free. Composite is PVC wrapped recycled material – meaning that it’s plastic with an outer wood grain coating that can be any colour depending on the brand. An added bonus is that it’s sliver free, and you don’t need to stain it. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, try cedar. It will make your deck look amazing but will require staining. Finally, the most cost-effective option is pressure-treated wood. This option will also look fantastic but will require additional maintenance. At OnGrowing Works, our goal is to build decks that require minimal maintenance so that you can spend less time working and more time enjoying. We recommend considering materials that require minimal maintenance for a period of five to 10 years. In addition, consider your colour choices. If you have a shady backyard, you may wish to use a dark finish, but if you have a backyard that gets a lot of sun, avoiding dark colours is best as the deck will get too hot.
5. Consider your timeline.
Need your deck for a family function that is one month away? Remember that the size and complexity of your plan are critical to the timeline and that certain materials are more complicated. For example, composite decking is more intricate, while using cedar takes less time. Make sure to set realistic timelines depending on your vision and materials.
6. Consider simplicity.
It’s best not to complicate your deck. Often, a clean, simple look is most effective. Multiple curves and inlays can make your deck look overwhelming, and patterns are often frustrating to install and covered with furniture later. Consider keeping your deck simple by using directional decking.
7. Consider leaving the details and finish to the experts.
Many people can build a deck that won’t fall down, but are the details taken care of and does it look finished? Trained carpenters will ensure there are no tripping hazards, corners are completed properly, and your deck is finished nicely so you can use it exactly how you want to. In addition, decking can be costly. Experts can ensure that they are effective in the amount of materials they use so you aren’t spending more trying to fix mistakes.
8. Consider your landscape.
Once your beautiful new deck is complete, what will you do with the rest of your yard? Will you incorporate landscape features and flowerbeds around it? Consider how you will complete the appearance of your deck and surrounding area with green elements.
Ready to start your deck? Give us a call to chat more. OnGrowing Works offers a full suite of deck services that include planning and design, construction and installation, and maintenance.