Building a deck is an exciting project that allows you to start a big home improvement project without a professional contractor prolonging the job. Many homeowners are taking the whole do it yourself phenomena to new levels by erecting decks, sheds, greenhouses and boathouses with just a few plans, pictures and power tools.
But just because you can do it yourself does mean you know it all. If you think you don’t need to ask questions or follow exact instructions you may end up regretting your foray into DIY deck building. There is a lot that goes into designing and erecting a deck, whether you do it or pay someone to do it. In fact, those who go the DIY route should pay special attention to every detail, tip and trick offered because it will make the job that much easier.
The first thing you should pay attention to with DIY deck building is the building materials you will use. Of course we often think deck is synonymous with wood but the fact is that there are other materials such as PVC, composites and aluminum that can be used. Some of these alternative materials are more expensive than wood while others are cheaper, but that should not be your sole criteria.
You may find another material cheaper than wood, but you should also figure out if you need tools you do not possess to use another material. Are you familiar with this material or will it become another DIY disaster?
Is It Allowed?
Before you begin your very detailed DIY deck building project you should check with your local building inspector or permit issuer to make sure you can build the deck of your dreams on your property. They often have rules about the size of property add-ons, noise violations due to the construction and even adding electricity to another structure.
These rules vary by jurisdiction which is why it is so important that you find out what you can and cannot do before you purchase you materials and rent the necessary tools.
Where Will It Go
Have you already chosen a spot for your future deck? When you choose to build your own deck you won’t get the expertise of a professional telling you which area is best suited for a deck. Chances are that you want a backyard deck so your parties aren’t disturbing the neighbors and your neighbors aren’t disturbing your peace and quiet. Once you have this part figured out it is just a matter of exact placement.
Again, placement will depend on the purpose of the deck. If it is a ground level or attached deck you know it will be directly against your home so it is really a matter of how large it will be. A freestanding deck however can go just about anywhere so make sure it is placed to get direct sunlight and minimize moisture to avoid rotting.
Protect The Deck
Wooden decks will need to be treated for sun protection. Many paints come with sunscreen but it is rarely enough for the burning summer sun and requires an additional sealant or treatment. Find the best protection you can within your budget so you don’t have to paint and seal your deck every year.