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DIY: Adding a Wooden Deck to the Back of Your Home

One of the best home improvement projects you can do in your backyard is adding a wooden deck.

Not only does a backyard wooden deck increase your home’s living space with a place that you can enjoy for relaxing, enjoying summer parties and barbecues, or entertaining family and friends, it also helps to increase the value of your home when it comes time to put it on the market.

There are several important things to consider when planning adding a backyard wooden deck so that the time and money you invest results in the kind of deck that will serve your needs and bring you the most enjoyment.

Size and Placement
Before you begin planning or building, check your local department of building and safety to find out if any codes restrict the size of yourdeck. You’ll also need to consider how you will access your deck from the rest of the house.

Rather than having the kitchen door serve as the main access point for your outdoor deck, it may be much simpler and more convenient to place a sliding door from a family or dining room instead. This way, when you use the deck for entertaining guests, they won’t all be troupingback and forth through your kitchen all night to gain access to the deck.

When it comes to positioning your deck, keep comfort in mind. If the area gets full sunlight or too much direct sunlight, especially in hotter summer months, this may prove to be a bit too much for family and friends lounging outside. Look for shade trees nearby to provide a bit of relief, or if there are none available, have an awning installed on the house that will also provide some shelter for the deck.

Choosing the Right Wood
Your local lumber company can be a great resource for helping you decide on just the right wood type for your backyard deck. Your lumber company representative is an expert at advising you on the best kinds of wood that have high enough grade levels to be used safely outdoors. Consider whether you want to invest in pressure treated wood that will automatically protect against weather rot, or if you prefer lumber for constructing the flooring, the safety railing and the stairs. You can always use treated wood for the deck frame and its supports.

Western Red Cedar is a popular softwood whose initial attractive reddish-brown color will eventually age to an attractive silver-gray in color. It’s a durable wood that can last three decades or more. Clear heart grade Redwood is the best choice for a durable deck that comes in a choice of colors and is very resistant to decay.

Honduras Mahogany wood has a gorgeous grain that is a beautiful choice for deck flooring. South American Ipe is one of the strongest woods to use to construct decking and is incredibly low maintenance, although it doesn’t last as long as Red Cedar or Redwood and can prove challenging to cut.

Keep It Simple
A well-constructed, medium size deck is usually the best choice for most homeowners. Make sure that the deck complements the existing style of your home so that it blends into the backyard environment comfortably, complies with all necessary safety codes including adequate railing to prevent falls, and uses the best quality lumber you can afford so that you will proud of the time and effort you put into its design and construction.

About the Author: Dan Phelps is a home design and realty blogger. He’s knows for a fact that Bayou City Lumber has phenomenal pressure treated lumber, which is a great choice for constructing your own wooden deck. Remember to enjoy the process!

1 comment to DIY: Adding a Wooden Deck to the Back of Your Home

  • The average deck stain available at Home Depot, Lowes, and the national chains last about 1-2 years on most decks. Then you or your neighbor get out the deck stripping and cleaning chemicals that will be rinsed into the ground in your neighborhood. Then they might use a gasoline powered pressure washer to rinse, destroying the peace and quiet of the only Saturday you have had off in weeks.

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