Deck Builders Lexington KY adds living space to a home and can be one of homeowners’ best investments. But it can also be one of the most dangerous additions to a home if built incorrectly.
Minimize wood-on-wood contact by leaving gaps between the ends of beams and joists. This allows moisture to escape and prevents the onset of rot.
Home deck building is a great way to expand living space. It allows you to relax, entertain or play outside and it can increase your property value. It is also a much less disruptive project than adding an addition or renovating a room inside your home. The construction process is confined to the outdoors and can be done in a relatively short period of time, so you can get back to your normal life activities.
The first thing you need to determine is what your purpose for your new deck is going to be. Some people use their decks for dining and outdoor entertaining, while others prefer to relax or read on a comfortable lounge chair. The size and location of your deck is largely dependent on this and your budget. Once you know what you want your deck to be, you can start to plan the layout and add features like a hot tub or grilling station. You should also consider any shade options you may need to protect from the sun, such as an awning or pergola.
Another important factor to consider when planning your deck is the style and design of your house. Your deck should complement, rather than compete with your home architecture and it should flow with the surrounding landscape design. There are several different ways to approach this and it is a good idea to research ideas on the internet and by visiting local model homes to see what styles look best on certain types of houses.
Before you hire a contractor, ask about their experience and reputation. It is a good idea to request proof of licensing and insurance as well as a portfolio of similar work. It is also helpful to check references and consult with previous customers. A contractor with a lot of positive reviews is a safe bet.
Many municipalities require a building permit for decks and other structures. This is to ensure that the deck meets all building codes and safety requirements. It is important to get a permit before starting construction because any violations can result in expensive fines. It is also possible that if you build your deck without a permit, it could negatively impact the resale value of your home. Potential buyers might find out about it and request a permit before closing.
One of the first steps in home deck building is designing your layout. It’s essential that the design reflects your family’s lifestyle and complements your house. If a deck is too far removed from the house, it can feel like an add-on rather than an extension of the living space. A deck that’s a true reflection of the home will seem a natural part of the yard and won’t stand out like an afterthought.
Start by surveying the terrain where you want to build your deck. The elevation of the soil will determine how high your deck flooring must be. Then, figure out how large you want the deck to be. It’s important to keep in mind that the larger the deck is, the more it will cost to build.
You can use free online software to help you design your deck. Trex’s program is designed with their composite material in mind, but it will give you a good idea of the size and shape of your deck and what it might look like with different railing styles and colors. The software also provides a materials list and can point you in the direction of a local retailer or contractor who can make your dream deck a reality.
Having a clear understanding of how you’ll use your deck is a critical element in its design. Whether it’s for dining, relaxing or mingling with guests, the deck must be sized and designed to accommodate those activities. Adding separate areas for these purposes will allow you to comfortably seat people in groups without crowding them together or making them uncomfortable.
The type of deck you’ll end up with will depend on how much sun or shade you need and the level of privacy you desire. For example, a pergola will provide varying degrees of shade depending on how closely the rafters are spaced. You can also choose to shade the deck with a standard umbrella or an awning.
If you don’t have the time or expertise to do your own deck design, many contractors will offer this service for a nominal fee. Look for a company that specializes in decks and has a portfolio of previous projects.
There are many tools that are essential to building a home deck, whether it’s for cutting and shaping the materials or fastening them together. Some of these tools are designed to make a specific task easier and more efficient, while others are simply indispensable to having on hand for general use.
Among the most useful is a carpenter’s level, which allows you to check that your flat surfaces are perfectly straight and plumb. This is especially important for the framing, joists, and deck boards. It’s also a good idea to have several spirit levels on hand: six-foot models are great for determining deck height, while four- and two-footers come in handy for checking angles.
Shovels of various types are important for excavation and soil removal, particularly a spade shovel that has a flat-head to help break up and level ground, and a garden hoe for loosening compacted dirt. Posthole diggers, which are heavier and more powerful than handheld shovels, are useful for digging holes to the required depth for your deck’s footings.
You’ll also need a variety of power tools to do the actual construction. A circular saw can handle most basic cuts, but you’ll probably want a reciprocating saw (Sawzall) for anything too deep or difficult to cut with the circular saw, as well as a hand saw for finishing up any rough or uneven cuts. It’s also helpful to have a utility knife, and it may be necessary to add a wood chisel or plane to your tool collection for more detailed work.
Another handy tool is a rake, which is useful for sifting debris and soil to remove large stones or other materials that can interfere with proper footing preparation. It’s also handy for clearing off deck areas after they are complete and ready to be used.
Finally, a good supply of joist hangers, deck anchors, and exterior screws is a must for completing the base of your deck and securing it to your house. Joist hangers are metal brackets that support joists and connect them to the beams in your substructure. Deck anchors are heavy-duty metal brackets that hold your wood posts in concrete footings. Exterior screws are corrosion-resistant screws that secure your decking boards to the joists and post anchors.
A home deck is a great way to get some extra living space, and it can also increase the value of your house. But while it may seem like a good idea to try to build your own deck, it is important to realize that this is a project that requires a lot of expertise. It is best to hire a professional. This will ensure that your deck is built properly and safely. It will also save you time by allowing you to focus on other things while the professionals work.
When choosing a contractor, make sure they have experience building decks. This will give you peace of mind that they know what they are doing and can deliver on their promises. They should also be able to provide you with examples of their previous work. Finally, they should be able to provide you with a written contract or agreement before beginning the project. This will protect you in the event that there are any disputes or problems down the road.
Lastly, it is important to hire a contractor who has a good track record with other homeowners. It is important to ask for references and check online reviews to see what other homeowners have said about the company. A reputable company will have no problem providing you with these references.
When hiring a contractor, be sure to discuss the timeline for completion of the project. It is important to know how long you will be living in a construction zone, and it will help to have a set date for completion. It is also a good idea to ask the contractor about any potential problems or delays that they might encounter and how they would handle them.
Lastly, it is important to hire reputable contractors who are licensed and insured. This will protect you in the event of any accidents or injuries during the construction process. It is also a good idea to check with your local building department to see if there are any regulations or requirements that must be met before you begin construction.