Adding a deck to your home can be a big decision. There are several types to choose from and some are much easier than others to construct yourself. When you install a deck correctly, it will give you an outdoor area where family and friends can gather and enjoy outdoor activities.
A deck provides outdoor seating in the case of a large gathering at your home. Decks are raised off the ground so that they remain drier than the lawn. A raised deck also has a better breeze due to the airflow underneath. All decks have a base that is supported by legs on or in the ground, framework and decking boards. Decks are extremely popular in the United States due to their versatility. The National Association of Home Builders states that decks "are included in nearly a third of all new houses, and decks are by far the most popular do-it-yourself construction project."
The most common decks are wooden decks made from treated wood products. This type of wood is treated to withstand insects, rain and rotting so that your deck will last for many years. Decking material is readily available in 4, 6 and 8-inch widths. The most basic deck is square or rectangular so that it is easy to build without calculating angular cuts.
Decking kits are available in an assortment of sizes. You will have to measure the area that you want to deck to cover and calculate square footage. These types of basic decks are very simple to install. You lay out the foundation grid with the metal legs into a square or rectangle shape and screw the corners together. The wooden framework has interlocking boards with a 1-foot square grid to hold each wooden decking tile in place. This type of deck does not require posts to be placed into the ground as part of the foundation.
A floating deck is not attached to the existing foundation of your home. It is a freestanding structure that uses concrete piers to stabilize the base on the ground. The use of concrete piers banishes post hole digging and mixing cement needed to anchor your deck to the ground. The piers have slots in them to accept the vertical boards of your framework. A floating deck allows for stability in itself without the consideration of the ground shifting underneath the it, which can cause your deck to sag or pull loose from the house.
Bolting a basic deck through the floor joists to your home is the safest construction method for all non-floating decks. Decks can eventually collapse if they are merely nailed onto your home because of the outward stress on the nails. This allows nails to loosen and eventually pull out, resulting in your deck collapsing. You can add simple features to a basic deck that give it character, such as building benches on the edges for seating or even adding flower boxes along one side. You can add many options later to personalize your basic deck, such as railings and lights.
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