Planning a Deck Project

Summer is the most popular time to start a deck building project, and each year people tackle this project in two different ways; DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and hiring it done. For DIY’ers who love to have a project to work on in spare time, it’s a great fit. For others, asking us to lend a hand is the preferred route. Either way you choose, there are some considerations you need to make ahead of time.

Considerations for Building a Deck

Shade: You may have an ideal place you’d like to put a deck or raised patio, but consider the direction it faces and your yard. Will your deck be in the hot sun during the heat of the afternoon? What time of day are you most likely to use your deck and is it shaded during that time? Are you able to plant trees or add a landscape elements to provide shade? Is a fire and/or a grill a part of your plan, and if so, you may need to adjust your deck/patio plans to accommodate where these things can be placed according to building and fire codes.

Access: Consider the access to your home, deck and yard. Where do you want to access the deck from your home? What makes most sense? Which way would you want your stairs to run? Will you block windows or other items in your yard with your deck and/or stairs?

Privacy: If you are standing in your backyard dreaming about the day your deck protrudes from the second story, think about privacy. Will you be visible to all your neighbors while sitting on the deck? Which direction will the deck face? How much privacy will you have? Will the deck be above your fence? Do you need to add in a privacy element to the deck and/or landscaping?

Structure: Are you planning to put a spa on your deck? If so, your deck plans need to account for that weight and placement, and it should be something you decide before hand, not after the deck is built.

Building Permit/Building Code: Obtaining a building permit is a critical first step, as you don’t want to invest in a project that doesn’t have prior permission from the city. Secondly, if this is DIY project, make sure that all aspects meet current building codes. (Each year we are reminded of the terrible consequences when construction is done below code standards. A deck collapse can be a very dangerous event.)

Digging: Before digging post holes, uprooting trees, and other preliminary tasks that require digging, you need to call Gopher State One Call and make sure all local utilities are clearly marked. While they are usually fairly quick with requests, it can take a few days, so plan ahead!

If time is slipping away from you this summer or any of the questions raised above have you stumped, give us a call and let us help you build a deck. We can make the process simple and fun!