Contractor Tips: Build a Top-Notch Deck
A deck is basically an outdoor area, usually in a space you didn’t previously use. The excess space adds value to your house, but adding value to your life is not the same story. A deck must match the way you live. And, of course, unlike the other rooms in your residence, your deck must handle exposure to the elements. Here are four considerations which can help you construct the deck that best fits your lifestyle.
Lingo to understand:
Joists: Structural timber that supports the decking and also runs from beam to beam or house into beamBeams: Larger pieces of wood or steel which encourage the joistsFooting: A concrete pier that supports the deck posts. Make sure that the footing is below the frost line in your area so that it won’t proceed when the ground freezes. Grade: Ground level
Resolution: 4 Architecture
1. How big should you make your deck? Consider what you’ll use your deck size and for it to fit your requirements. No decking material is totally maintenance free, so earning a deck too big will mean spending some time preserving space you do not use.
Do not forget the space under your deck. Depending on how elevated the deck is, the space underneath can function as storage. Or, even if you include a product such as Underdeck on your preparation, it can be a shady space protected from the rain.
Becker Architects Limited
The dimensions of the deck also has structural consequences. Your architect, engineer or contractor should dimension the beams, joists and pier footings so that the deck not only meets structural needs but also feels stable to the people on it. The higher people are off the ground, the less comfortable they will be with the deck moving.
Additionally, keep in mind that in addition to raising the cost of decking materials and labour, adding square footage will increase the number of concrete footings to dig and pour. Oversizing the deck by two feet in 1 direction may signify another row of footings. Discuss the structural consequences with your designer so that you can get the deck that is the right size for your loved ones in the cost that is easiest on your own pocketbook.
Yaniv Schwartz – Photographer
2. How are you going to access the deck? The harder it is to get to a deck, the use you’ll get from it. Here, big sliding doors open onto the deck in the inside. A sliding door can be left open when there is a display panel set up to keep out the bugs. If your strategy requires patio doors that swing outward, check the insect screen choices before you commit. Rolling screens like those from Roll-Away are a choice, as are panels which flap in position like curtains with a magnet to keep them together.
Mark English Architects, AIA
Stairs can connect an elevated deck into the yard below, but keep in mind that they also provide intruders with access to a second floor, which makes locks and alarm detectors necessary in areas they may not have been before.
Koch Architects, Inc.. Joanne Koch
3. What deck material would be best for you? If your deck is to be constructed at grade or in addition to a roof, then think about whether you may require access to the space below the deck later on. The deck in the picture is constructed from modular panels which can be removed for access into the space below. If construction above a roof or terrace with a slight pitch, adjustable deck encourages like people from Bison can make leveling the deck much simpler.
Composite decking, made of a plastic and wood mix, has become popular within the last decade. Although it does not require periodic sanding or sanding as timber does, it isn’t maintenance free. Mold and mildew may form on it based on the requirements surrounding the deck, so be ready to wash your deck several times a year.
Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture
Only certain species of timber hold up well as a decking material. Cedar and redwood have a natural resistance to the elements. Pressure-treated decking is a soft wood that has been treated with chemicals to make it weather resistant. The arsenic that has been used in the past is no longer used, however if you are interested in finding a chemical-free deck surface, avoid pressure-treated decking. There are choices, but the structure of most decks will be constructed with pressure-treated timber.
Although timber decking may be left to weather, a few people do not need a gray deck and choose to stain and seal the timber. This prolongs the life span of the deck and gives you many color choices. Depending on the vulnerability, staining will need to be redone every two to five decades.
4. What safety features will you need? Unless your deck is constructed in grade level, you’ll need to get a rail. A couple of dimensions are to keep in mind. Limit the space between balusters or flat slats to less than 4 inches. This can be required by code. Most building codes can allow a rail elevation to be anywhere from 36 to 42 inches, but keep in mind that a 36-inch-high railing will encourage individuals to jump up and use it as a seat, which defeats the objective.
Winn Wittman Architecture
In addition to railings made of timber or composite materials to match your deck, glass panels, stainless steel wires and welded metal railings are popular choices. If you decide on a composite railing to go with your composite deck, see if the distributor of your decking offers a rail kit. The components make it simple to gather an appealing railing.
No matter which railing you choose, make sure it is tied to the structure below and is powerful enough to keep everybody on the deck. Steel mounts that bolt the rail posts to the deck joists and beams are typically the best.
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