The
ULTIMATE GUIDE
to Designing a Deck

Deck

Few things add hard value to your home more than outdoor living areas. Experts agree that a deck offers a 100% return in value. No matter how ambitious your plans are, adding a deck is a great way to enhance the value of your home and expand your living space to include new horizons.
Keep reading if you want to learn how to design your deck.

Permit To Build

As a simple rule, you need a permit for any deck that is higher than 30 inches off the ground. This rule applies to most decks. Anything lower than 30” is often considered a patio or “porch deck,” and no permit is required. Building a deck without a permit may result in removing it, possible penalties, and back property taxes.

Deck Design

When designing your new deck, take into consideration what features you wish to include for your lifestyle and the space available. It is more cost- effective to properly plan and build exactly what you want than to retro-fit the deck later with additional inclusions.

Location

Your climate effects where the best spot is for a deck. If you live in a cool climate you’ll want to place your deck where it gets plenty of midday and afternoon sunshine. If you live in a warm climate you’ll want just the opposite.
 

Privacy

 Most decks are built off the back of a home because this is the most private area. However, this is not always the case – evaluate your home and property to determine where the most private space is. 

DIY Skills

If it’s a basic, freestanding platform deck, you might be able to pull it off in a few weekends, depending on how much effort you put into the project. Decks require a certain amount of carpentry, engineering, and do-it-yourself experience.

How To Clean

Washing will remove moss, mold, and algae. Use a solution that dilutes in water, such as Ronseal decking cleaner or Liberon Tough Deck Clean and Revive or a mix of bleach and warm water (but don’t let this sit on the surface). Apply with a cloth, or, in an especially dirty area, use a brush.

Size and safety.

When designing a deck of any size, consider what you plan to use it for, how large it will be, the maximum weight you want it to hold (people, hot tubs, plants, furniture, etc.), and what kind of footings, beams, hangers, ledgers, stairs, railings, and material you’ll be using. 

Wood For Deck
  • Hardwoods: such as jarrah, blackbutt, spotted gum, and Merbau are extremely durable and are highly resilient.
  • Treated pine is a more affordable timber option, and has been treated to withstand decay, fungi, and termites.
  • Composite decking is made from a mix of wood fibres and recycled plastic or fibre cement and is an environmentally friendly alternative to timber. Composite decking is making inroads into deck building. 
Railing

When it comes to selecting the appropriate railing for your home style, there is often some much-needed research to be done. start by considering your home’s architectural style.

Vinyl and aluminium are both excellent choices for your new railing. However, you might also consider other options available, including wood or wrought iron. Many homeowners choose wood railings for a rustic look; however, it’s worth noting that vinyl can mimic the look of wood.

Maintenance

Inspect periodically for soft or splintered spots, loose nails and deck attachments, and split or rotten planks. Promptly fix any damage that presents a health or safety hazard. Complete other repairs before your annual deep-clean.

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