A wood deck is a great way to expand your backyard’s abilities and establish a great area to entertain guests. Gain another living space with a deck installation service. Many people attempt to take on a wood deck as a weekend DIY project. But hiring a general contractor such as us can help you better plan the job according to your climate, lifestyle needs, and budget, and arrive at a better result!
When planning your wood deck take these into account:
These aspects can help you design the perfect wood deck for your yard. An alternative if you want more living space than just a deck, you can discuss with a wood deck builder if a full porch is an available option.
NATURAL WOOD OPTIONS FOR DECKS
Natural wood is the most common choice for anyone seeking to install a deck or porch. Wood is usually chosen for visual appeal because homeowners want that authentic look. Any local home improvement company will tell you that all-natural wood types will eventually lose their color to a gray version of their original hue. This is one reason why natural wood needs yearly treatment, including staining and cleaning. You can discuss which options are best for your yard and region with a general contractor who can explain why specific options aren’t a good fit for you.
Pressure treated wood, also called PT wood, is usually the least expensive and lasts for about 15 years. Most of the time pressure treated wood comes from Southern yellow pine. Deck builders know the risk that comes with working with wood. Terminates and rot can both be harmful, and burning wood can release harmful chemicals. This is one reason why it’s important that any DIY project is thoroughly researched before starting. Don’t take the chance of exposing yourself to chemicals or pests! Take caution whenever you are handling pressure treated wood especially. Your local home improvement company can assist you with materials to protect yourself and anyone else handling them. However PT woods are often popular options because they require less daily maintenance and resist scratching more than other natural woods.
Hardwoods are extraordinarily durable and known for their density. They are more resistant to insect infestation, rot, and decay than other natural wood options. The tropical hardwoods typically last for about 25 years. However, they can be heavy, challenging to work with, and often more expensive.
Many deck builders or general contractors will discourage tropical hardwoods if a homeowner is uncertain of which wood to go with. This is because of how difficult they are to work with and how expensive the wood is. If any wood isn’t handled correctly more material must be purchased and if it’s expensive than the price of the deck or porch can build up quickly. They also harbor heat, so walking across it barefoot in the summer isn’t recommended.
Redwood and Cedar:
These woods usually last about 20 years and have a natural defense against insects and rot. However, they’re easily damaged. These are softwoods which means they’re easy to work with and are generally less expensive than the tropical hardwoods.
They are stiff, but lightweight in nature and generally lighter colored. Many people will use redwood or cedar and then stain them to their preferred color. However, both redwood and cedar will fade to a grey quickly if not maintained. There are some options of sun-blocking to postpone this, but getting your deck stained and sealed is your best bet.
Most people choose natural wood because, more than anything, it feels good. Where composite deck materials are known for their susceptibility to scratches and stains, natural materials have a bit of defense to these issues. Some woods also have a natural defense against pests, weather, and rot.
Tips for Natural Wood Deck Maintenance
Depending on which wood option you choose you might be able to get away with a little more time between maintenance appointments. However, you should set times at least once a year for a full deck cleaning.
Cleanings you can easily do yourself if you’re willing to invest in a power washer. With a power washer set to a low-pressure setting use a brush and gentle cleaner to scrub away. With the power washer wand, you can move the wand in small circles to pull up the most build up without scrubbing hard. There are a number of products you can use for mildew too if you live in a humid region. On a daily basis, you should sweep and be sure that you remove any debris from the deck. Then any spills need to be cleaned up immediately. If you allow a spill to set for any period of time your taking the risk of your deck staining. Staining is one reason why most decks need to be sanded and stained every five years.
Wood decks are constructed in a few major steps. First, planning and then prep, following with framing and finally staining and treatment.
Step One: Planning
When planning out your deck you should consider not only the size of your yard but also what would you would like to use and what your ideal entertainment area should look like.
First, plan out your dream deck. Take a good hard look at your yard and determine what size is best for you. If you’re looking for something to only entertain and host meals with, start by measuring your table and adding four feet to the exterior of each side. This ensures that everyone has space to walk behind each seated person.
But, if you’re planning on cooking and prepping in this area too be sure to accommodate enough space for a grill and preparation area as well. Then consider how many people are likely to be standing around on the deck at any point in time.
When you’re ready, meet with a deck builder to see how well your dream deck will fit in your yard, and whether your wood options are available.
Step Two: Preparation
If you chose to hire us, we will do the preparation as part of the deck building. Preparation includes:
This is your first opportunity to see a visual representation of your deck, during the preparation stage most deck builders will stake out the perimeter. But everything going on inside the perimeter is much more important. The weed barrier will ensure the underside of your deck or porch isn’t infiltrated by unwanted plants. Cemented areas are also important to help prevent the ground shifting. By cementing down into the ground, it can keep areas intact during heavy rains.
Step 3: Framing
The structure of your deck is coming into shape as the posts and frame start to come together. This will eventually reach completion, but for now, you can see it starting to take shape. The future additional living space will grow from simple standing posts to supporting sideboard and joists.
This is usually the most exciting step and requires the least amount of effort on your part if you’ve chosen to hire someone. However, if you are taking this on as a DIY project this will be extraordinarily different for you. The framing step in a DIY venture is the most important part of the deck building. Your joists must be planed, evenly spaced and the sideboards must be sturdy. This is accomplished through partially burying them. Of course, it’s easier to just hire someone, but, you can always seek advice from your local home improvement company.
Step 4: Lumber and Decking Board
The most basic component of your deck, the lumber, is the last set for installation. During this time, you can see the lumber being set in which is the most satisfying part for homeowners. Watching your dream deck come to life, you should keep discussions open with your deck builder. There are lots of options with the decking board.
Patterns are available such as the basket weave, or the simple lined layout you see in most decks. Some homeowners want to add accent boards for some flair. This is when boards are inlaid into the rest of the inlaid decking board. The joists and bridging would have to support boards going in multiple directions.
Railings and Steps
The railings and steps are a giant opportunity to get creative with your deck. There are a ton of different materials available for the railing and crafting the steps is flexible as well. Speak with your general contractor to understand which options are available and which options aren’t. When planning where your steps will be, speak with the deck builder to ensure that it won’t affect the structure or functionality of the deck.
Contact Our Deck Installation Service
Contact us today to build the deck of your dreams in your yard. Start enjoying additional living space outside of your home and use it to entertain your guests. The summer nights won’t be the same! Deck Builders will provide a free estimate through the quote form, or simply call today to have your project started!