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Renovation 101: 10 Things to Consider Before You Construct Your Own Deck


Adding a deck to your house does much more than just increase your property value: it becomes a little home within your home. It is where you will host parties, have family dinners, enjoy the sunset, and most of all, make memories. There is nothing quite like waking up each morning and enjoying a cup of joe outside on your deck in your favorite chair or listening to your favorite band as burgers sizzle on the grill on a Friday night. Adding a deck to your home can be a life-changing investment, but there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge. 

Here are ten critical things to consider before building a deck.

1. The Deck’s Purpose


Before you begin, it is essential to understand what you want out of the deck. Will the deck be used for dining and entertaining? Or are you looking for some outdoor privacy to hide from the chatty neighbors? Having an idea of your deck’s purpose will help you pick a design and specific features that are right for you.

2. Location of the Deck

Location of the Deck

There isn’t always a clear-cut answer to where a deck should go. If you have multiple options, it is vital to choose the ideal location based on what you want out of your deck. When determining a deck’s site, consider the size of your property, sun exposure, wind patterns, access to the house, and your view from the deck.

3. Will You Build the Deck Yourself?

Beautiful backyard deck with built-in lighting and fully decorated with vibrant and colorful furniture and decor

Of course, a deck will cost less if you build it yourself, but you have to be honest about your skill set, the time you have, and the effort you are willing to put into it. Some decks, such as a simple platform deck, are easy to install and serve as the perfect DIY project. However, if you are looking for something a little more sophisticated, it is best to call a professional.

4. Set a Budget and Stick To It


Setting a budget is a crucial step for building the deck that is right for you. Your budget will determine your material, the size, and of course, the features. Don’t forget to calculate the costs of building permits and deck accessories into your budget.

5. Select and Understand Your Materials

Select and Understand Your Materials

When it comes to building a deck, traditional wood is on the bottom of the totem pole. The industry has changed to materials that need less maintenance, such as pressure-treated wood and composite decking, in order to prevent future decking issues. Each type of decking is used differently, so you must know how to install deck posts, floorboards, and railings based on your chosen material.

6. Know Your Local Codes

Cropped image of carpenter's hands checking level of wood at construction site

Depending on the size of your deck and the city you live in, you may have to get your plans approved before construction can begin. It is essential to call your town hall and develop a strong understanding of the building codes and legal procedures to avoid violating any regulations.

7. Settle on the Style of Your Deck



Along with functionality, you want your deck to look good. To build an aesthetically pleasing deck, consider complementing its style with the design of your house. The purpose of a deck is to be an extension of your home, not to stand out on its own.

8. Plan Out Your Lighting


Incorporating lighting into your deck’s design adds both a level of safety, security, and style. Whether you are hanging outside late at night or taking the dog out before bed, deck lights will illuminate the way. With so many options to choose from, deck lighting can fit any budget.

9. Keep Privacy in Mind


No matter how friendly your neighbors may be, it is always nice to have some privacy. If the only location you can build your deck at provides a front-row show for the neighbors, consider adding a privacy screen such as a lattice wall, a screened-in porch, or drop curtains into your budget.

10. Built-in Features

Aside from the deck itself, determine what kind of built-in features you would like to incorporate into your budget. From built-in storage to grills, bar tops, and outdoor furniture, the opportunities are endless: just make sure that if you’re looking to remain eco-friendly, you choose options that will save you on energy in the long run.

Happy Building

Whichever style you go with or whoever ends up building your deck, what matters most is that you get what you want. A deck is an extension of your home and will bring you and your family a great deal of happiness if it’s done correctly. 

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