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Building a Deck: 3 Tips for Getting Started

Is there anything better than grilling out on a nice summer day? You can enjoy the warm sunshine, cold drinks, and delicious food—but where are you going to eat? Going back inside defeats the purpose of cooking out.

If you have a deck, you can take full advantage of the summer sun. A deck is a perfect place to entertain outdoors. Decks can add a lot to a home, but building a deck is a big undertaking.

image - Building a Deck 3 Tips for Getting Started
Building a Deck 3 Tips for Getting Started

Luckily, there are a few ways you can make the deck-building process easier for yourself; keep reading to learn three key tips for building a deck.

1. Plan Your Deck Carefully

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Measure twice, cut once.” The same general principle applies to building a deck: the more planning you do early on, the less you have to worry about mistakes later.

Knowing the basics of how to build a deck isn’t enough; you need to choose a design you like that your home and lawn can accommodate. Consider your home’s aesthetic and the amount of space you want to dedicate to a deck.

Do you want a ground-level deck or a raised deck? Are you building on flat land, or are there contours to consider? Do you need to adhere to any specific building code requirements?

A custom deck builder can help you answer some of these questions, in addition to helping you choose a design you love.

2. Leave Gaps

One of the most important deck-building tips is to leave gaps between your deck boards. You might assume that your boards should be flush with each other, but a lack of gaps can lead to trouble down the road.

Wood expands and contracts based on the amount of moisture it’s exposed to—wet wood swells, while dry wood shrinks. Decks with no gaps can suffer damage when the boards swell.

Gaps also help you keep your deck clean: when you sweep your deck, dirt and debris can fall through the cracks, leaving you with a spotless deck.

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3. Choose the Right Wood

Always use quality wood for your building projects–what’s the use of having a deck if it’s made from shoddy materials that will break or rot? Use something hardy like cedar and stain it for an extra layer of protection.

When buying boards, always check them for straightness; a warped board can cause problems for your deck.

You should also check the grain at the end of any boards you purchase. If the board is from the center of a tree (indicated by smaller rings), it’s more prone to bending and twisting.

Building a Deck Just Got Easier

Building a deck is a great way to improve your home and get the most out of your yard space. Now that you know the secret to better deck building, you’re on your way to making the deck of your dreams!

Are you looking for more ways to upgrade your home and garden? Visit our design ideas blog for more ideas on how to create a living space that you love, inside and out!

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