Do you love hosting parties and entertaining guests in your home in Dakota County? Do you love spending time in your backyard especially during the hot summer months? Do you love relaxing in your home? Well, you might want to build or renovate your deck. Of course, you need to do your research and plan accordingly before you start working on your deck. Here’s what you need to consider before any deck installation or renovating project.
Wood Or Composite? Choosing A Deck Material
Yes, wooden decks have a romantic appeal to most homeowners. However, most people are now attracted to composite decks because they are low maintenance, easy to install and durable. You need to decide whether you need a wooden or composite deck. Remember, installing a ground level deck where it is closer to the ground can result in dampness and buildup of leaves or debris.
If you choose a wooden deck, you should decide between cedar, pressure-treated wood, tropical hardwood, redwood, hardwood and pressure-treated wood. You can also choose pre-finished aluminum and composite decks.
Do You Need A Floating/Freestanding Or Attached Deck?
Most homeowners in Dakota County prefer a freestanding/floating deck that isn’t attached to the house. It is also referred to as a ground-level deck. They are a great choice because they don’t have many building codes and can be mounted on the concrete piers instead of the posts sunk into the ground below frost levels compared to attached decks.
What Are The Size And Safety Concerns?
When designing a deck for your home in Dakota County, you need to consider what you will be using it for, the size and the maximum weight the deck can hold including furniture, plants, hot tubs and people. Don’t forget to consider the railings, stairs, ledgers, hangers, beams and footings as well as the material to be used.
DIY Or Professional?
Hiring professional contractors for your deck installation is a great choice. They can do it in a few days and ensure durability, safety and complete adherence to building codes. However, if you are a DIY handyman, you can transform your deck project into the next achievement in your home renovation projects. You need to weigh the pros of cons of making it a DIY project or hiring a professional for the job.
If you do simple research online, you will come across numerous deck designs. You can check them out and look at the suggested materials as well as measurements. All the hard work is done for you. You should be able to get cost estimations for every design without necessarily using a professional for the quotes.
Most decks fail because they don’t adhere to Dakota County building codes. These are a set of standards, rules and procedures that specify the required designs and materials for constructed objects such as buildings, plumbing or electrical, among other non-building projects.
They are used to regulate the designing and construction of structures to protect public health and interest. Before building a deck, you need to get a building permit to meet the codes. With a proper building inspection, you can avoid many DIY mistakes of building a deck.
Easements, Setbacks And Variances
Depending on where you live and plan to build your deck, you need to consider easements, setbacks and variances. Every deck should be constructed to meet building codes in the area, you should get in touch with Dakota County’s city building department. You can talk to officials about any covenants affecting material, location, style and size restrictions for the deck design you are planning.
Every decking material requires some type of maintenance. Talk to your professional about the type of maintenance needed. For instance, wooden decks need to be sealed or stained every few years depending on exposure to elements, wear and tear. If you are looking for a low maintenance decking material, you should go with composite since it only needs to be rinsed off with water every once or twice a year.
Traffic And Stairs
You need to consider how the foot traffic will flow from your deck. Any furniture or grill arrangements shouldn’t interfere with movement. The stairs and doors should be easy to locate and accessible from any area of the deck. For taller decks, there should be guardrails to define the perimeter. Benches or short rails can be used to guide traffic and maintain views for low decks that don’t need guardrails.
How To Avoid Deck Disasters
• Don’t skimp on materials to save money because it will result in deck failures.
• Avoid unsealed wood because it is heavily affected by weather elements thereby deteriorating faster.
• Use joist hangers because they are crucial to a deck. Screws and nails are not strong enough to hold up the cross members. It’s easy enough for the boards to come apart without joist hangers.
• Use the right flashings, footings and materials. Don’t compromise.
• Don’t bolt deck beams to the sides of any support posts. If a professional says that a post is needed, you should place the support posts at all beam splices.
• If using pressure-treated wood, you should use hot-dipped, torx head, zinc stainless steel, square head or silicon bronze screws.
• Follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions religiously to avoid any deck failure.
• You need to learn how to install a ledger. The process of attaching it to your house is very integral to deck building so don’t ignore it.
Follow these tips to get an amazing deck on your property!
Contact us today for a free estimate! We would be glad to put together a competitive yet quality estimate that will give you what you want at an affordable price.
These are some of the areas that we service in Minnesota: Apple Valley, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Minnesota and surrounding areas.
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