Start Planning your deck
As the homeowner it is up to you to make the initial
decision about your decks look and feel. Only you know
what you know what you want from your deck. It is likely
that you want to entertain on it, barbeque on it even
a hot tub.
Make a list of features you want.
- patio table
- hot tub
- planter boxes
Knowing what you plan to put on the deck will help
you determine the size of deck you need.
are also great place to look for ideas. Cut out pictures
of railings, decking material, lights or patio seats.
Keep all the picture. Once you have a few variations
of the different components you can narrow down your
Books are also a great resource.
Books will usually have a series of deck projects
that you can follow along. Some are plan books that
contain a series of plans. Any generic plan will need
to be brought to local codes.
Drive around new subdivisions and see what is being
built. If anything, this will give you a bit
of an idea on the framing of the deck.
Watch home improvement shows on TV to see what the
new trends are. You can also get a list of good websites
that can provide information about new products.
The availability of materials will also be a factor
in what you use to build your deck. Using materials
that are native to your area will be less expensive
then if you have to special order materials.
Once you decide on all the features and styles you
want to include in your deck you are ready to have
a deck plan drawn. Hiring a designer or builder to
design your deck is the most common way but is also
the most expensive. Finding a
set of pre drawn plans will save you some money but you will still need to
have the plans updated
to meet the local building codes.
A home owner can buy computer programs that will
enable them to design their own deck. This can be daunting
for those with very little experience but if you work
at it you can have something that you can build with.
Building Codes and local by-laws
When building you deck it
is important to work with your local building department.
In most areas you will need to have your deck plan
approved and a building permit issued before you can
Your local building department will likely look for
the following information.
- overall deck size
- height off the ground
- position relative to property lines
- size and location of framing
- species of wood being used
- soil type
- method of connecting framing
Once your local building department is satisfied your
plans meet code and local bylaws. They will then issue
you a building permit, likely for a fee.
At certain stages of the construction you will need
to get a building inspector to do a site inspection.
You will likely be informed of these inspection when
you building permit is issued.
Now it is time to start building your deck.
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