5 Deck Building Mistakes to Avoid


Category: Decks


Spring is the busiest season for Maryland deck builders. Many homeowners are in a rush to get their decks “up and running,” so that they can start enjoying the warm weather. If you plan on getting a deck built this spring, make sure to take the time to consider every aspect of design and construction. An experienced deck building contractor can guide you in your choices of style and materials, and will make sure you avoid these mistakes common in DIY projects.

Not Considering Window Height

If you are building a deck on the side of your home that has windows, it’s important to account for how your view will change once the deck is in place. For example, you don’t want to be doing dishes and staring at the deck railing that is now blocking your line of sight to the kids’ playground. Remember that the height of your deck doesn’t have to match the height of your first or second floor. A deck can be placed at any reasonable height and still made accessible through steps or stairs.

Not Getting Permits or HOA’s Permission

If you live in a Homeowner Association (HOA) housing community, most improvements you make to your home are likely regulated under the HOA’s governing documents. These documents provide exact specifications for new decks, from dimensions and materials, to the color and style of railing. If you fail to obtain the HOA’s approval before building your deck, the HOA has the right to request the structure to be torn down at your expense.

If you or your contractor fail to obtain proper permits, on the other hand, your deck won’t be immediately demolished. However, it may be unsafe, and when the time comes to sell the house, it will be more of a liability than a bonus feature.

Not Defining the Purpose

It’s obvious that you want to build a deck to gain more usable outdoor space. But what exactly are you going to use this space for? Remember: function determines the form, not the other way around. Why is this so important? Let’s say you build a good-sized deck off the back of your house. Now you decide to put a hot tub in one corner. The problem is, the hot tub is too heavy and your deck needs additional reinforcements to support the weight. Also, remember that tree you took down because it was blocking the view from your deck? Well, now your neighbors have a clear line of site from their bedroom into your hot tub. You get the idea: planning is important!

Not Measuring Right

If you hired an experienced Maryland deck contractor, you shouldn’t have to worry about measurements. However, for DIY enthusiasts measurements are a big pain point. Failing to properly measure, calculate and account may lead to many unsightly outcomes from slightly slanted deck boards to unevenly spaced posts. It might not seem like a big deal, but the tiny imperfections like this give away the fact that your deck wasn’t built by a professional. In more serious cases, poor measurement may cause you to hit underground utility lines while digging holes for the footers.

Not Accounting for the Sun

It’s important to take into account how much sun your deck will get and how much shade you will need. If your deck is not surrounded by tall trees, it will likely be getting a lot of sun during the day. So much sun, in fact, that sitting outside for half an hour in the afternoon will leave you with a mild sunburn. And forget about reading or working on your computer when it’s so bright out. If you want to use your deck during the day, think about how you can add shaded areas. Installing awnings can be expensive and unsightly, but something like a gazebo or even a pergola can be helpful in achieving this shaded oasis.

Need help deciding on the design and style for your new deck? Or looking for a reliable builder to implement your design? Contact Archway Remodeling today for a free estimate.

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