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Building a Deck

Two men building a deck

Adding a deck to your home or business can be a great way of adding a gorgeous outdoor area that can be used in a variety of ways.  Adding a deck to a house gives you a great place to entertain and to enjoy the outdoors.  For a business like a restaurant, a deck is the perfect place for diners to eat when it’s nice out.  But there’s more to a deck than simply building a platform next to your building.  Here’s a brief outline of what it takes to build a deck.

First, you have to have a plan.  Decide where the deck is going to go and how large it will be.  Will you need to have stairs to reach it?  Will you be adding a door to the building so the deck can be accessed from inside?  Is the door already there?  Once you have your plan, you’ll need to go to a building inspector to have it reviewed and to get any special permits you may need.  You may also want to talk to the various utility companies to make certain there are no buried electrical lines, sewage lines, etc. in the spot where you’re going to build your deck.

Next, you need to prepare the area for building. It needs to be flat, so you may need to either level it out or, if parts of it are lower than needed, build it up.  This will probably involve renting or borrowing a tractor or other piece of equipment to level the area.  You may also need to buy soil or sand to build up the sunken parts.

Now it’s time to actually start building.  If your home has siding around it, you may need to remove the part that will be covered by the deck.  You’ll also need to place flashing around the edges to protect the remaining siding.  Next, following your outline, cut your boards and other materials.  Make certain you have everything you need before you begin building.  First, you’ll place your supports.  Then you’ll begin laying the actual deck itself, carefully fitting each piece together.

Once the deck itself is done, it’s time to add the stairs (if needed), a railing, and anything else you’d like to add.  You can also stain the finished deck any color of your choice.  Finally, you’ll need to apply a coat of sealant to the entire deck to make it waterproof.  If you don’t, the wood will rot, and your deck will collapse.

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