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Have you ever looked at your backyard and thought how great it would be to have a deck built off the ground? You know, a deck where you could sit in the morning enjoying a cup of coffee or in the evening sipping on a cocktail. If you have, you are definitely not alone. Decks have been big business for many years. There is something very special about enjoying the outdoors on a beautiful deck in your own backyard. Your deck is the place from which you can watch birds and squirrels, spell fresh cut grass or blooming magnolias, or stretch out on a hammock and take a cozy afternoon nap.

For sake of example, we will talk about a 12 x 12 foot deck, which is considered a simple design set on a foundation and surrounded by railing. This size deck can be completed within four to five days with two people working on the project together. You could estimate approximately 80 hours to complete. Yes, they will be long days, but the benefits you will enjoy after all the hard work is worth it! For larger decks, ones with more ornate railing or built-in seats will take longer.

Before you start work on your deck, make sure you have any permits taken care of. A permit may or may not be required, depending on the type of deck you plan to build as well as where you live. For example, if you live in a residential district that has a home association, you need to check with the association regarding rules. If you live in a rural area, a permit may not be needed. Be sure to check with your city or county to make sure you get everything you need before building.

Although there are several different types of woods that can be used, the most popular are redwood, cedar, cypress, and pressure-treated wood. The reason is that these particular types are decay resistant. While redwood is by far the most popular for its rustic and inviting color, any of these would make a beautiful deck. Materials needed to build your new deck are crucial. You want to buy materials that will last for a long time. Fasteners should resist decay and be rust proof, nails, screws, bolts, and fasteners should be hot dipped galvanized and if you can find double dipped, that is better. Stay away from electroplated galvanized as this will chip over time. Check with your local home improvement store for all the required materials, and this is the time to buy the best and not skimp.

When you determine the design you want for your deck, you need to consider several things to include:
  • During what time of day and what season will the deck get sun and shade
  • How much privacy to you want
  • How will the deck be accessed from the indoors and from the yard
  • Where should the stairs connect
  • Are there trees or overhead lines to be concerned about
  • Will you use the deck for barbecuing, lounging, eating
  • Will the deck be attached to the house or a stand-alone
  • What kind of view do you want from your deck
  • How much do you want to spend
Decks will provide you with years of pleasure and add great value to your home. Whether you have someone build the deck for you or you and some friends build it yourself, you will be thrilled with the results!
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