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Advice On Building and Maintaining a Deck

A deck can be a wonderful place for you and your family to gather outside during the summer months. Decks provide homeowners with comfortable outdoor living spaces that can be customized to fit each homeowner's specific needs. Many consumers have decks with patio tables and chairs, fire pits, benches, flowerboxes and planters, and many other features. A high quality deck can drastically increase the value of your home and act as a beautiful transition between the interior of your home and your garden or landscaping.

Designing Your Deck Blueprints

Before you begin building a deck, you need to have a carefully constructed plan for building your deck. Often, this requires creating blueprints for your deck that show your deck's exact dimensions and any specific features that your deck will include. If you don't have any experience designing blueprints, you can find deck templates at your local home improvement store or online. Detailed blueprints will provide you with a guide for purchasing material and for building the deck itself. You can feel free to get creative with the design of your deck. Some consumers have two level decks that reach the second story of their homes or split level decks with different tiers for different purposes.

Purchasing Material

The material that you choose to use for your deck is very important. Some consumers like the look of real wood; however, wooden decks require very careful maintenance so that they don't begin to rot or warp. If you have a wooden deck, you will be required to treat your deck every year. Composite decks are made from a mixture of natural and artificial materials and may be easier and safer to use because they will not rot, warp or splinter. However, some consumers do not like the look of composite material decks.

Installing the Foundation

The most important part of building a deck is installing the foundation of your deck. This is usually accomplished with heavy, sturdy posts and a concrete mixture for stability. Depending on the guidelines of your blueprint, you will need to install several support posts below your deck by digging holes and pouring concrete before placing the posts in the ground. If the posts are not level or the ground around your deck is exceptionally sandy or filled with clay, the stability of your deck may be in jeopardy.

Completing the Deck

Once the foundation of your deck is laid, you will install floor joists and beams and then any railings, benches or steps that your blueprint requires. This is where the customization of your deck can come into play. You can construct built-in benches, beautiful staircases, or customized railings for your deck.

Deck Maintenance

Staining, treating and maintaining your deck is very important if you want your deck to last for a long time. By treating your deck with a water resistant sealer, you can protect your deck from the effects of precipitation such as rotting, warping, or splintering. You may also want to periodically check your deck for termite damage.

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