Building a deck can be one of the best ways to add value to your home. Deck is one of the best outdoor spaces in your home where you can have some relaxing time close to nature. Building a deck will give you a new and creative place for hosting many activities like organizing a party or having morning coffee with your partner or giving your kids a place to play without creating a mess in your home. If you like the idea of hosting all these activities, you need to build a deck. However building a deck is not that easy and it needs lots of planning and effort to do this. The expense you do on properly planning and building a deck is actually an investment, the fruit of which you are going to enjoy for the upcoming years. If you are not having a deck already in your home, you might be wondering as to how to build a deck and is it a DIY process or not? To help you out here is a detailed process to build a deck. Check out the process and decide yourself whether you can do it yourself or need a contractor to get the job done.
- Check local building codes
The first and foremost step of building a deck is to check the local building codes regarding deck. One of the factors affecting the size of the deck is the size of your home and also the shape. In majority of the cases, you will need to support your deck with certain load unlike the floor of your home. If you are not complying with the building codes regarding deck of your area then one of the drawbacks is that your home insurance policy will not cover your deck in case any accident takes place.
- Get permits
There can be any need of permit for building a deck. Check this out with the local government if there is any need of such permit. Also check whether there is any need of inspection during construction. Obtain the permit with necessary fees before building a deck.
- Check out the depth of frost line
Frost line is actually the depth up to which the ground will freeze during winter in the number of years to come. There are certain building codes which require building a deck, the support posts of which should be sunk deep below the frost line. Even if there is no such requirement then also sinking the support posts deep to the depth will help to keep the deck from getting buckled when the ground is expanding and swelling when the inside water gets freeze.
- Choose the style, size and placement of deck
There are various styles of building a deck, it can either be attached with the house or it can also be free standing. Certain building codes can be more relaxed in case of free standing decks; majority of the people installs the decks which are attached with the house as they find it more convenient. If you are building a deck on the house, you will need to know rim joists and wall studs for getting the ledger board secured and support beam which are attached with the house. Decks size will decide the number of posts and footings which will be needed for supporting deck boards and joists. Whether you are going to need the railing, steps and posts or not will be decided by the height at which height you are going to place your deck. If you are going to build a deck which is just above the ground then you are not going to need it but if it is higher than that then you will definitely need it for safety and protection. It’s advisable to make a sketch of what kind of deck you ant as it will give the idea regarding the material needed.
- Select the type of material
There are plenty of composite material and hardwood from which you can build a deck. Materials of deck will vary from the tropical hardwood Ipe to the plastic, from traditional redwood to pine and cedar. The posts, columns and framing of the deck should be pressure treated or else it should have the decay resistant wood based upon the need of the code.
- Mark the place where you want the top of deck
Generally it will be the height of the interior floor and also below the threshold of any current or planned door which will open up into the deck. You can make use of a level; for drawing a line on siding whole length of deck.
- Mark place where you want the bottom of deck
Measure the thickness of the deck boards from the line you have just marked along with measuring the height of ledger board.
- Remove the siding where ledger board is mounted
If the siding of your home is solid, you can cut it by using a circular saw and jigsaw. Make sure you don’t cut the sheathing which is under the siding. If you are having vinyl siding then you need to have a special tool for prying up your siding after removing it. You will also have to remark the lines on top and bottom of the deck on the sheathing.
- Build a deck
You need to measure the ledger board and hen cut it appropriately. Make sure it fits your home properly before you proceed with building a deck in your home. After that you will need to install the joists. Mark the spots where you need to install the joist and if possible place it on the left edge of the ledger board. If your deck is at height also take the material; for building stairs and get the stairs installed along with the deck. Also check whether there is need of installing railing or not, if it is needed get it installed.