Building a new deck or replacing an older one is obviously a great investment and a great added beauty to your home. However, there are certain safety and logistics concerns that a person should be conscious of. Take a look at these potential issues before beginning construction on your deck.
Spend just a little bit of extra time in planning the layout of the deck in your deck design so it will be big enough for all your planned activities and outdoor parties. It is important that the layout blends into the surrounding area and grounds. Keep in mind the angles of the sun and shading can have a definite impact affect on the deck.
Have your deck design sketches and ideas of what you want ready for your nearby lumber dealer or favorite lumber supplier to look at. Weigh their suggestions and ideas carefully. They can also draw up a plan for you and give you a pretty close estimate of the materials needed and the costs involved in building. As decks become more popular, suppliers and building contractors are starting to become more familiar with the various building methods and will usually see to it you pick the right type and makeup of materials.
Most decks are continuing to be constructed with treated lumber, which several years ago contained toxic chemicals. If you are at all uneasy with this, then there is a new decking material on the market that is becoming popular. It is a composite plastic board that requires no sealers or painting and is being used by many builders. It is expensive, however, and will increase the cost of materials by about 80 to 100 percent. It will last considerable longer than lumber, so if your budget allows it you might prefer using this new decking material.
New methods of fastening treated lumber are becoming necessary. No longer will the usual metal nails of screws hold up. The copper in the material will corrode the galvanized steel fasteners. Joist hangers and connectors ought to be the zinc coated kind with a thick galvanized coating. The type of flashing between the concrete pillars or foundation should be of copper. Aluminum flashing corrodes next to the copper used in the treatment of the wood.
A good layer of a name brand oil based sealer or paint will seal the wood and make all treated lumber safe. This should be done every couple of years to be safe.
Because wood is a permeable or porous material and can be damaged by the sun it is imperitive that you protect your deck. Clean it regularly with a power washer and apply a good sealer every couple of years. You made a large investment when you had your deck constructed and a little maintenance will afford you quite a few years of enjoyment.
The deck railings can be constructed of the exact same treated material. There are a few other choices for railings such as metal and vinyl. Pre-fab spindles are now present at most material suppliers and are simple to install.
Using lighting in the vicinity of the steps is an important feature to add to your deck design, not only to improve the look of the deck but to add to the safety. Any steps ought to be well lighted for safety reasons. Safe low voltage lighting systems are frquently used and the added cost is well worth the benefits.
If your town or community has ordnances regulating decks and swimming pools then it is very vital that you check with the code or zoning official in you town or city before starting construction on your deck. There are severe financial penalties if you do not have the official permits prior to any construction.