Many homeowners find themselves looking for ways to build equity in their home, or even just to increase the level of enjoyment they get from living in it. There are many projects that can serve both those purposes, from kitchen and bath remodels to adding a deck to your backyard. Choosing to build a deck can be a great way to boost your home’s value, especially if it’s one that is perfectly suited to your home.
The DIY Approach
There are essentially two ways to go about adding a deck to your home. You can do it yourself, or you can hire someone to handle it for you. If you choose to go the DIY route, there are some pros and cons you should be aware of. Building it yourself means you have complete control over the end result of the project. If you have the skills to do it, you can save on labor costs and work on it in your spare time. Of course, if you don’t have much spare time, that can mean building your deck could stretch on for quite some time. You’ll be responsible for handling the purchase of materials and the necessary tools for the job. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available online for those who want to build their deck themselves. You can find a variety of plans, tons of inspiration, and may be able to find tools to rent so you don’t have to purchase less commonly used ones for a single project.
Consider the Climate
As an outdoor feature, your deck will constantly be exposed to the elements. As such, it’s important to consider the climate you live in when building your deck. Humidity, temperature, extreme weather conditions, and sun exposure should all be taken into account when designing your deck. They can impact factors and decisions such as the style and layout of your deck, the materials you select, how you care for it, and what you need to do to make it structurally sound. You can reduce the deck’s exposure to the elements by adding a roof or other covering, but you probably won’t be able to shelter it completely. Taking the climate into consideration is vital to planning and building a deck perfectly suited to your home.
There are a variety of materials you can use to build the perfect deck for your home. Some of the most common materials include wood, composite materials, and stone. Wood is typically the least expensive material, with cedar, redwood, and pine varieties making up the most commonly selected wood options. While more cost effective, wood does tend to require more maintenance and sustain a greater degree of damage over time. Composites and stone are more expensive. They do tend to hold up better over time and require less maintenance though, and can be used to build some very beautiful decks. Consider the appearance of your home’s exterior and the climate you live in. To build the perfect deck, select materials whose appearance works well with your home’s appearance and will hold up well to your local climate conditions.
If you elect to use wood for your deck, you’ll need to take steps to protect it from the elements. Wood can warp, splinter, become discolored, and is susceptible to mold and mildew growth. Protect a wood deck by cleaning it regularly, keeping it covered when you can, and treating the surface with an appropriate wood treatment. This can help preserve its beauty and keep its surfaces in good condition for longer. Regardless of any other factors, you’ll find that your deck suits your home better when it’s kept in good shape.
When you plan your deck, consider how high off the ground it’s going to be. The higher it is, the more worthwhile it is to consider adding a railing. Railings can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Options run the gamut from simple wood railings to higher end glass options. Even just having a visual reminder that the edge is close by can be enough to make your deck a little bit safer. In addition to railings, it’s worth considering whether or not to add a deck skirt. This can be a nice way to keep your back yard looking neat and appealing by covering up the underlying structure of your deck. Alternatively, if room allows, you might consider adding a patio below the deck to take advantage of the natural shelter it provides from the elements.
Add Fun Features
There are lots of fun features you can add to your deck to make it feel like a true extension of your home. You can play with different patterns and colors with the materials you use to build the deck to give it a unique appearance. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could build seating into your deck to give yourself an alternative to outdoor furniture. Lighting can make your deck easier to enjoy regardless of the time of day or night.
Decks give you a lot of freedom to accessorize. Consider what you intend to use the deck for. This can guide your decisions when it comes to selecting any patio furniture or the comforts you want to add. If you love cooking, you might invest in a grill. Just make sure you keep the grease from dripping onto the deck, since that can damage its appearance. Fire pits can be another fun addition, providing extra warmth and light.
Adding a deck to your home can be quite the undertaking if you take the DIY approach to it. There are a lot of decisions to be made to help shape it into the perfect deck for your home. Of course, hiring a builder to handle a lot of that for you can be a great option if you don’t have the inclination to do it yourself. Take the time to design and create the perfect deck for your home that will build value and make your home a more enjoyable place to live.
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