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Planning and Building An Outdoor Deck From Start To Finish
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement


Building an outdoor deck is one of the simplest ways for homeowners to expand their living space and add visual appeal to their landscape. Outdoor decks do not require electrical or plumbing installations and you are spared the hassle of working with lighting, windows and other components that a full addition would require.

It is true that constructing an outdoor deck can be simple; however, it still requires you to put careful planning into it. As with any home improvement project, the more you put into the planning and preparation, the more you will get out of it. Keep in mind that a qualified professional in your area can help make sure that you are considering every step of the deck planning process.

There are four factors to take into considerations with an outdoor deck.

1.) Size
2.) Location
3.) Materials
4.) Design

In order to save yourself money and ensure an effective construction, it is best that you plan your deck dimensions. By doing this you will be using standard board lengths and reducing the amount of wasted wood. Make sure that when it comes to materials, you are only purchasing and using what you need.

The location of your deck is crucial. Consider where the sun will reach your deck, where the shade will reach your deck, where you will get easy access, and where you will get the best view. Also, think about air movement. Often a wrap around deck can increase the level of air circulation, making your deck experience a more enjoyable one.

Think carefully about what material to build your deck out of. You can spend less money on materials such as Fir and Pine, but expect to need a replacement within 10 years. High end materials, such as Cedar and Redwood, may cost more, but they will offer you more durability and a longer lifespan. You can also choose between aluminum decks, concrete decks, and composite decks.

The design of your deck incorporates several elements. You need to consider privacy, landscape, and architectural appeal. Choose between an octagonal, a free-standing, a multilevel deck, or maybe even a pool deck design. You can choose between a warm classic look and a sleek modern appeal. Be as crafty as you can with your new deck because it is just as important as your kitchen or family room.

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