Adding a deck (or renovating an existing deck) can be a great way to transform any outdoor living space. Likewise, a deck addition yields a large return on investment, with most homeowners recouping an average of 80% on a basic deck add-on.
Before you tackle your deck-building or renovating project, however, there are some common mistakes to be aware of and avoid.
Common Deck-Building Mistakes to Avoid
There are a number of mistakes homeowners can make when building or remodeling a deck that can derail the entire project. One of the biggest mistakes is that of failing to obtain any necessary permits from your city before building. While permits are not always required, they often are. If your deck is not permitted, you may be fined by the city or even required to make changes later on to get things up to code.
Likewise, if you live in an area with a homeowners association (HOA), be sure that you’ve received permission from your HOA to construct your deck before you get started. HOAs often have strict rules and regulations when it comes to deck sizes, colors, and building materials used.
Speaking of materials, be sure to select deck materials that will best suit your needs and lifestyle. While wood is a popular choice for deck-building, it’s worth noting that lumber prices are at historical highs thanks to supply-chain shortages caused by COVID-19. As a result, it may actually be more cost-effective to select a different material, such as composite decking. The added benefit of composite decking is that it requires very little maintenance, which is great for those who may not have the time to paint, stain, or otherwise refinish a wood deck every few years.
Tips to Consider When Building a Deck
Now that you know some of the most common mistakes to avoid when building or remodeling a deck, there are also some general tips worth keeping in mind before you get started.
One of the first things you’ll want to do when planning your new deck is to decide on the size and layout. For example, will your deck be all one level or will you build a deck with two (or more) levels? When designing a deck, you’ll also want to think about how you’ll be using it. Will you need a space for outdoor dining? What about an area for a bar?
Don’t overlook access points for your deck, either. Local code may require that you have railings surrounding your deck’s perimeter; if so, you’ll want to incorporate some gates/openings where you can access your deck from various parts of your yard.
Last but not least, be sure to shop around for the perfect furniture for your deck. The right furniture can make all the difference when it comes to maximizing use of your new deck. Remember that it’s generally better to spend a little more money on quality furniture that will last for many years than to buy cheaper furniture that will not hold up to the elements.
The Bottom Line on Remodeling a Deck
There’s certainly a lot to keep in mind when building or remodeling a deck, but by avoiding some of the most common mistakes, you’ll be set up for success. And remember, if this is all a little too overwhelming for you, you can always work with a home contractor to assist you through the process. Specifically, a home deck contractor will have the experience needed to handle everything from designing your deck based on your needs to obtaining any permits you may need. From there, you can get the deck of your dreams without having to lift a finger!