One of the best ways to increase the value of your property and expand your living space is to add a deck. But, a deck is not simply an addition to your home; it is an extension of your home. A deck creates a flow and beckons you to come outside. Since it will be such an important part of your house, it shouldn't simply be an afterthought.
Many people add a deck just to have a place to sit or cook, but with the right planning and design it can be a place to entertain. Many people prefer to build the deck themselves, but hiring a professional has its advantages; design is one consideration, quality is another.
One of the most import parts of deck building is design, you first have to consider how you will use this space. Many people prefer to build a deck large enough to accommodate eight or more people. Others may want to add a spa. Even if you don't plan to include a hot tub initially, you may want to later on. So, consider future uses when designing your deck.
Many decks are square or rectangle and butt right next to the house. But a deck with various angles and areas for greenery and benches has much more appeal. A tiered deck will give the space more depth and a patterned surface will add style.
The substructure (frame and posts) is usually built from pine. Many contractors prefer treated wood, which will hold up to bugs and weather. As for the decking, there are numerous choices, from redwood to composite material to plastics. So before building a deck take these things into consideration:
· Framing material
· Decking material
· Nails and screws
Basically, there are two different ways to construct a deck: some contractors prefer to plant the posts first and then build the frame onto them; other prefer to build the frame first, plant the posts, and then attach the two together. One advantage to the latter technique is that with frame built you know exactly where the posts will go.
On most decks there will be a post on every corner and one every six feet. But if you are putting a spa on the deck, the posts need to be about two feet apart underneath the hot tub. A hot tub, with water, can weight more than 4,000 pounds…that's two tons! So without additional support your deck will bend, crack, and eventually snap.
There is an ongoing debate about how to hold the deck together, how the decking should be attached to the frame. For wood that is warped or may warp, many contractors favor screws; otherwise 2˝ inch rust free nails are the choice.
As for the decking it's a matter of personal preference and today there are many choices:
· Composite material