A garden deck is an excellent addition to any home. It is a perfect spot to host parties, chill after your get-together, or read a book on a pleasant day. However, many pre-built houses do not have a deck. If you are a homeowner who wants one in their home, read on to know the factors you’ll have to consider when getting one built.
Building a deck is not a simple task: there are many processes to monitor and choices to consider. You’ll have to take care of many things, from permits to choosing the right construction company and ensuring the durability of this new addition to your home. Here is what you should prioritize:
Ensure Compliance With Deck Permits
The laws in the United States are strict, and the construction of your deck must comply with these laws. The penalties for not abiding by them can go up to $5,000 across the United States.
Raised decks must be durable enough to withstand people’s weight, furniture, heavy decor items like planters, and much more. Abiding by your state’s building codes and permits will ensure the safety of your loved ones when celebrating an achievement or enjoying a meal on the deck on a pleasant day. Researching and inquiring about the laws of your state is vital to prevent the unnecessary hassle and cost of lawsuits.
If your state requires it, you will need to get a permit and show your construction plan to authorities beforehand to begin the construction. You can call the town hall or your local authorities to inquire about your state’s requirements and limitations on building a deck. They will inform you if you need a permit and let you know the procedure to obtain one before you begin your construction. You can even hire professional construction agents to take care of the legalities and the construction process. However, that might be expensive and is not ideal if you are on a tight budget.
Take Care of Structural Specifications
Joists and beams are both integral parts of a deck’s structure. Joists are used in building the frame of a deck. These are parts that are not visible but hold the planks up. It is essential to base the measurements of your joists on the distance among the lumber used in the joists and the bearing points. Your local municipal guidelines can better inform you about the ideal distance between the joists to ensure your deck does not collapse and remains durable over a more extended period.
Beams carry actual weight bearers that help ensure your deck’s uptight and long-lasting structure. They support the heavy joists and the people and objects on the deck at any given moment. The joists are supposed to be above the beam or, for durability, be joined with the beam. Vertical posts and columns should support the beams on a raised deck. You should also ensure the right size of these beams.
You can hire a construction engineer or simply go through construction guidelines online to find the right size of beams for the size of your deck. A common rule is to have a spacing of 16 inches on the center for deck joists. You can verify your state-specific rules from your local authorities and municipality.
Use Screw Pile Foundations
Screw piles are metal posts that are screwed into the land to provide adequate support to the deck’s structure. The level and positioning of these are fundamental so that they can support the deck directly. You can purchase screw piles from the local building supply store or order them from online stores. Their quality is of utmost importance as they act as the foundation for a durable and robust deck. We recommend Helical Piles for Decks to support your deck construction. It is advised to go for a trusted supplier with experience and a good brand image when choosing screw piles. If your garden has a lot of rocks, you may need a screw-pile contractor to drive them in with the heavy machines.
Ensure a Durable Deck Foundation
If you reside in a cold region, a frost heave can cause your deck to shift. Residents of such areas should go around 4 feet beneath the deck’s base. This will protect you during the season of heavy snowfall, as the ground underneath your deck post won’t end up freezing during seasonal change. A hand posthole digger or a shovel can be your best tools in digging this wide hole. You can again hire construction specialist agencies, which can be costly but convenient. It is advised to find the recommended local depth to ensure that you eventually get below the frost line while digging.
Certain types of soil, like clay, are not good under decks as they can shrink and expand considerably with moisture content. This is harmful, especially in places that get heavy rain, winter, or snowfall. Such soils can make the foundation of your deck weaker and susceptible to shifting in rainy or snowy seasons. While digging, you may even find a bedrock. This is a good sign that the deck will be built on a durable platform and will withstand changing weather.
Your garden deck construction can be simplified with just some essential tips. All you need to do is get a permit, build a strong foundation, choose your ideal design and decor, and ensure the structure is well-built. This will protect your deck from seasonal damage and collapse. Ensuring compliance with the state laws will also save you from legalities and protect you. Careful construction will also provide the deck’s durability and eliminate the recurring need for maintenance and repairs, which can get quite costly.
You can always customize your deck by adding personalized decor, furniture, and lighting to its look. Bright lighting will also enable you and your family to use the deck even at night time. Consider personalizing your deck by coloring it or using wood that complements the exterior of your home. This will ensure that your house looks put together and the deck well-planned. Adding a few swings, carpets, or artificial grass can make your deck look more welcoming and vibrant. You can change the decor with changing seasons and customize it for upcoming festivities.