Spring and home improvement projects seem to go hand-in-hand. At the first sign of warm weather, homeowners are anxious to get outside and begin work on all the outdoor projects. Perhaps this is the year you’re finally going to build that new deck.
Planning your deck
A deck provides an extension of living space that can add value as well as beauty to your home. It is a place that you, your family and friends will enjoy for many years to come. As with any major project, careful planning is the key to success. Consider the direction of the sun, the prevailing breezes and the view when selecting a site for the deck. Consider the placement of your deck in relation to other structures and trees. Be sure to determine the location of any underground utility lines, septic system or well that could affect your deck building efforts. Don’t forget a trip to the Building Department of your town to check on the need for a building permit!
What do you want in your deck?
What will be the main use of your the deck? Relaxing with your feet up? Family cook-outs? Large-scale entertaining? The primary purpose or function of your deck will dictate its size and shape. Decks can be as simple as a square or a rectangle; or, for a more elaborate appearance, decks can be round, arched, hexagonal or a combination of these shapes to create a multi-level deck. When you use your imagination, you’ll find the possibilities of deck styles and variations endless.
Answering the following questions will also help you get a clearer picture of your deck:
- Do you want the deck attached to your house or free standing?
- What height do you want the deck? (this will determine if stairs are needed)
- Do you want a roof over part or all of the deck?
- What style of railings would you prefer?
- What design or direction do you want for the final decking?
- Are there any special options you would like such as a built-in table or seating, an overhead trellis or a planter?
New deck design program
If you have a Chase-Pitkin store in your area, stop in the lumber department where you’ll find the very latest deck design computer software called The Deck Designer. A Chase-Pitkin salesperson will work with you to create a detailed free-form deck. You’ll receive a detailed permit specification drawing, including a plan and cut list. You’ll also receive a component listing of lumber and non-lumber items needed, a list of tools required to construct their deck and multiple views of the deck. You can see exactly how your deck will look and know everything you need to complete the project.
Experts recommend building your deck with pressure treated lumber which is more durable than untreated wood. The preservatives protect the wood against termites and fungi and help the wood resist the harsh effects of weather. Pressure treated lumber also meets all building code requirements.
Take your time and do some planning and before long, you and your family will be enjoying barbecues and summer breezes on your new deck.