4 Tips for a Better Deck Installation

Installing a deck starts with understanding the basics and doing the leg work. From its purpose to neighborhood regulations, here are a few tips to get started.

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4 Tips for a Better Deck Installation

Posted by Gary Ashton on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 10:36am.

What You Need to Know Before Installing a DeckA new deck can bring immeasurable joy to residents during any season, but the complex installation process can make it difficult to get started. Here are a few tips for a smarter approach, so Green Hills homeowners can get to it.

Research the Zoning

The zoning restrictions of any given neighborhood may have a lot to say about the steps of a deck installation. Some areas may give their residents free rein, but others may require all work to be approved by city officials. Homeowners may also be required to hire approved professionals to put in their deck, and schedule regular inspections as the deck is being completed.

These rules are made to protect both private property and city infrastructure. If homeowners accidentally damage a pipe when digging up the land, they may be held liable for far more than damage to their own property. (Those in an HOA especially need to be careful of what is and isn't allowed.)

Do the Leg Work

Whether homeowners are allowed to do the work themselves or not, they still have plenty of power to control their deck installation. Keep track of everything during installation, including prices, materials, dates, and progress of each step. Doing so will give future homeowners the peace of mind everything was done within the letter of the law. Considering permit laws and zoning restrictions can change from year to year, staying organized can save a lot of unnecessary headaches down the line.

Homeowners should also be researching prices and getting several hard quotes from contractors if they're planning to hire professionals. To cut down on costs even more, there are usually at least a few jobs that can be done before the crew shows up. Spray painting the dimensions of the deck or marking it with flags can save on labor costs. Even digging the posts can be a simple task, so long as homeowners do the research on how the soil type will affect the stability of the foundation.

Choose a Material

The material of a deck will have a lot to do with how it stands up to time, how much maintenance homeowners have to do, and how much the homeowner will pay overall. Experts recommend composite materials for decks over treated wood simply because they're easy to care for and last for decades. It's not unusual to see warranties for these decks last longer than 20 years, which can be a great selling point for future homeowners. For owners who don't always put maintenance at the top of their to-do list, choosing the right material can go a long way to preserving the integrity of the deck.

Knowing the Reason

There are two main types of decks:

  • Attached: An attached deck gives residents an easy way to go from indoors to out.
  • Freestanding: A freestanding deck brings more utility to features in the yard, including ponds, pools, and fountains.

In the case of a synthetic stucco home, homeowners will have little choice but to choose a freestanding deck, as this home material isn't strong enough to support an attached deck. Make sure to measure the deck first to gauge how much free space will be left in the yard.

Installing a deck is largely a matter of circumstance. Homeowner choices will be affected by everything from their neighborhood to the key purpose of the structure. The good news is that decks can be a great feature of the home, both now and when it's put on the market.

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