Adding a deck has long been a favorite remodeling project among homeowners. There is a certain freedom that comes with stepping outside, firing up the grill, and enjoying some peaceful evening vibes outside of your home. And while decks are a great way to enhance the enjoyment of your property, they can be quite lucrative as well, with deck projects returning over 62% of costs through increased resale value of the property in 2022.
However, like any type of renovation, you cannot maximize a deck addition without the proper planning. Different types of deck projects will have varying levels of complexity, with all aspects of the project requiring careful consideration before breaking ground. For example, full-service deck contractors, such as Archadeck, can perform deck projects as simple as an understated stone patio or as elaborate as a fully functional outdoor kitchen. Therefore, to cover all bases for an upcoming deck project, keep reading to discover 5 top considerations to make for a new deck.
Location, Location, Location
Building a new deck is all about increasing the comfort and functionality of your home’s exterior. As a result, you are going to want to enjoy some scenic views, have privacy from neighbors, and experience moderate weather conditions when lounging on your deck.
In many cases, it is obvious where the deck should be built. However, in those homes where there are multiple locations where the deck could feasibly work, weigh the pros and cons of each location. Look at wind patterns and microclimates to see which orientation will work best. While trees can be a great benefit to a deck in terms of providing shade, weigh whether they will obstruct views or constantly shed leaves onto the deck. Think of the ease of access between the deck and your home.
Will You Go Wood or Composite?
If you have the location nailed down, the next big decision lies in choosing a building material. Many homeowners prefer the natural beauty of a wood deck, such as redwood or cedar. While these types of decks play extremely well in an exterior setting, they need to be regularly treated with the best polyurethane for decks and examined for any signs of cracking or splintering. To lower maintenance requirements while still providing a look that mimics natural wood products, many homeowners are choosing to go with composite decking options. Composite decks are made using an environmentally friendly fabrication, lowering the amount of timber that needs to be harvested. In addition, composite planks can be fabricated in a wide variety of colors, are long-lasting in all types of weather conditions, and are not a threat to splinter.
What Type of Railing Will You Include?
When building a deck, choosing the appropriate railing can get a little tricky. It is important to consider safety when choosing a railing material, but you also don’t want railing that is overly obstructive and difficult to maintain. In addition, you’re going to want a rail that matches the design of the deck material itself.
For these reasons, many homeowners are bypassing wood railings in favor of welded wire deck railing. Wire railing panels use steel mesh that is woven or welded cross point pattern for residential use. Extremely sturdy and durable while offering a minimal, understated aspect, wire mesh railing is a great match for ranch, cabin, and board and batten style homes.
What Type of Material Will You Be Building On?
Before building the deck, it is important to consider what type of surface it will be resting on. Will it be sitting on concrete, landscaping pavers, or built directly onto the lawn? Each of these can affect the long-term stability of the deck. Concrete makes for a great foundation in the beginning, but it can expand and crack when introduced to freezing and thawing conditions. You may also want to build directly on the ground or square off a section of the lawn and build on top of risers. This can be a good choice, but erosion and unwanted vegetation growth coming up through the deck can be difficult to manage. For these reasons, pavers may be the best choice. They can be applied to the ground or attached to an existing concrete slab to create a uniform surface on which to anchor the deck while limiting erosion concerns.
Will You Add a Pergola?
Not only will your deck be a popular outdoor hangout, but it will likely be the home of a wide selection of outdoor furniture. It may also be a place where families leave muddy shoes or other outdoor gear to dry. For these reasons, it is a great idea to consider a pergola addition concurrent with your deck project. Not only will pergolas offer some shade from the sun and protection from precipitation, but modern pergola kits come in a wide array of attractive designs that can enhance the curb appeal of a home.
Important Things to Keep in Mind When Building a New Deck
Installing a new deck is a great way to increase the comfort, functionality, and value of your home. However, to maximize the return in each of these areas, it is critical to approach the project with the right perspective. Choosing the correct location, deciding between composite or wood, selecting the appropriate railing, considering the foundation you will be building on, and adding a pergola are 5 important things to keep in mind when building a new deck.
Max Shafer is a contributor to the Innovative Building Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Max is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.