Learn about the different types of decking materials, deck framing basics and deck terminology.
Select Your Decking Materials
Wood, either treated or naturally weather- and insect-resistant, is what is traditionally thought of for deck materials. However, composite decking is making inroads into deck building. The initial cost is higher, but over time you can actually save money when compared to cleaning, refinishing and ultimately replacing wood deck boards. Some warranties are up to 20 years or more.
Permit Now, No Headache Later
Study your local building codes and get a permit if needed. This is usually the case for a deck over a particular height and total size. You don't want to run into a problem later if you sell your house, and the beautiful deck you've spent years enjoying becomes a deal-breaker. Plus, you'll want to make sure it's safe and secure for loved ones and visitors.
Location, Design and Materials
First, decide where you want your deck to be placed – attached to a back door, a second story, freestanding, etc. Then develop a design. Some home centers have design software that can help you design your deck and automatically create a list of materials based upon that design.
Create a Solid Base
The footings for your deck must meet local codes and be installed properly. The depth of your footings, which will be set in concrete, will depend on your geographic location and will need to be below the frost line.