DECK DESIGN AND DECK MAINTENANCE TIPS
With effective planning, adding an outdoor living area to your home will increase your living space, improve the appearance of both your home and your landscape, and add value to your property. Conversely, a poorly-executed decking project can become an eyesore that devalues your home. For the best results, do your homework and consult a professional deck company. Find “Homeowner Approved” deck construction and repair companies in Charlotte here.
FULLY UNDERSTAND HOW YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE WILL BE USED
Answer the following questions to determine function and design for your deck: How much space do you have to work with? How and when will you use the space? What type of outdoor furnishings will you use? Should it be informal or elegant? Will the deck require protection from the elements; especially if used in hot, direct sunlight or inclement or cold weather? Will you need to screen-in a portion to keep out insects and other unwanted outdoor pests? Will the area open to a garden or swimming pool, now or in the future? Will a spa, or new landscaping, be part of the design?
DECK DESIGN TIP – A GOOD DESIGN AND PLAN ARE ESSENTIAL TO A POSITIVE OUTCOME
Be sure to work with your contractor to sketch out a “to-scale” design to gain a better sense for your project and to keep everyone on the same page. Everything from roofing, wraparound or multilevel design elements, to basic dimensions should be included to help nail down the final game plan.
DECK DESIGN TIP – THERE ARE SEVERAL DECK MATERIALS FROM WHICH TO CHOOSE
Decks can be built with a variety of materials, including pressure-treated pine, cedar, redwood, and engineered composites. Pressure-treated pine is the most common natural option: high quality, pressure-treated pine is available in different grades and it lasts longer and looks just as good as redwood or cedar. Now growing in popularity are engineered composites, which combine wood fiber and plastic, to create a durable product that often is guaranteed against insects, rot, warping, and cracking.
BUILDING PERMITS AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Most municipalities require a building permit for a new deck or patio room, especially if it is to be attached to the house or is more than 30 inches above ground. Plus, some homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover accidents involving construction that doesn’t meet local codes. It’s also important to know whether your yard or home could get damaged or become inaccessible during construction. Discuss contingency plans with your contractor, and make sure he plans to return your yard to its original condition if new landscaping is not part of the design.
DECK REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE TIPS
To keep your new or existing deck looking good and to extend its life, seal your deck with a clear sealer or stain several weeks after installation, once pressure-treated wood has had a chance to dry. To protect your deck from outdoor elements and keep it looking good over time, experts recommend pressure washing and resealing every other year. It’s also important to replace any rotten wood as part of your routine deck repair and maintenance.
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