Home Remodeling Guide for Building a Deck

Sep 2 18:53 2011 John Greyling Print This Article

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2010 Cost vs. Value Report, when it comes to home improvements that add value and enjoyment to your house, it’s hard to top the power of a great deck.

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In fact, a deck is a great feature and can return nearly 73% of your initial investment when you sell your home. Here are some great tips to upgrade and spruce up an existing deck.

1                     Start the summer by ensuring that your existing deck is in good condition. Check for damaged boards after the winter and replace them with the appropriate decking material. Tighten fasteners or replace them. Check for splinters on surfaces, especially along handrails and steps, and smooth with sandpaper.

2                     Brighten the deck’s appearance with a fresh coat of deck stain and keep it looking new longer by resisting water, mildew, and preventing fading in high-traffic areas. Clean and stain the deck in a single day.

3                     Add updates to your existing deck by swapping railings or adding decorative metal post caps or post cap lights. Create a little privacy with lattice, an easy and versatile way to promote privacy, without blocking cooling breezes

 Hot tips to consider incorporating into the design of your new deck

  • Big decks are great as they create more living space and are an extension of the home. Whether you choose traditional treated lumber or composite materials, you can create a trendy multi-level outdoor paradise which the whole family can enjoy. A nice spacious deck is also great for entertaining.
  • Add a water feature such as a fountain, or a hot tub. The sound of trickling water has a soothing effect and adds to the relaxation of a deck.
  • Erect railings around the deck for safety – with balusters, posts, spindles, post caps and lighting.
  • Dress up your deck with accessories like outdoor rugs, lighting, pillows, geraniums and impatiens in clay pots, hanging planters, new patio furniture, and perhaps also camping lanterns for the night. Watching the sunset from the deck can be very romantic. It’s also a great place to relax during the day, read a book, or soak up some sun.
Get helpful gazebo and deck building information from the experts, unless you are an expert yourself and don’t need help. Although store bought building plans are great for giving you a general ideas as to how your deck will look, they are yet to find plans that didn’t suffer from major errors.

Designers of generic gazebo and deck building plans have to make many general assumptions about soil type and design loads. If you have less than perfect soil and/or are building a deck or gazebo in an area that gets snow, the lumber, footing, and bolt sizes recommended in pre-packaged deck building plans won't work. Even if you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate with great soil, pre-packaged deck building plans are lacking in sufficient detail and accuracy to help you get the job done right. Even experts need help. Consult a professional deck builder and do the job right the first time.

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