What to Consider Before You Start Your Deck?

Building a deck is a beneficial investment to the value of your home. So it is important to consult an experienced team regarding your project. When making decisions on your deck, think of it as an extension of the interior of your home, either with a similar design or distinct contrast emphasizing the outdoor ambiance. The perfect deck will add comfort and practicality. Here are some things to consider before you spend any money.

Do you want a deck or a patio?

Think about whether you want a deck, patio or both.

Decks are raised platforms most often made out of wood or a composite material

Patios are at ground level and are often paved or made with paving stones.

Depending on your yard layout, it is possible to build a deck that has steps leading down to a patio before you reach the yard.  It often looks and feels best to have some transitional materials, rather than simply stepping off to the grass yard. Stone, pavers, and bricks look sharp next to all deck material (wood or man-made) and provide an easy transition to grass. A deck/patio combination can enhance your yard’s function and appeal.

How will you use the deck? What needs (or wants) will it serve?
  • Do you entertain often or plan to host large gatherings on the deck?
  • Do you need a table to seat six or will deck just be for you and your partner to sit and relax?
  • Will you want an outdoor kitchen or a firepit on your deck?
  • Are there safety considerations for children?
  • Would your design be realistic for those who are aging or might need assistance moving throughout the home and yard?

Knowing what you will use the deck for will also affect its size and design.

Location, Location, Location

Often, a limited property size determines where a deck will be built. If you have a larger yard, you may have a few choices on where to build your deck.

Deciding where to build your deck should be influenced by a variety of factors including:

The desire for sun and/or shade,examine the view from the deck and inside the house,privacy considerations including neighbours, roads, or commercial businesses, andproximity to the house.

What do you have to do for safety, codes and permits?

Depending on the size, location and height of your deck, you will be required to obtain the proper permits based off of your location’s zoning and building codes.

You also have to take safety into consideration and figure out what type of railing or siding you want.

Especially in Regina, the type of soil, the required depth of the footings, and any other special restrictions for the unique location and home are important things to consider.

Having this information early prevents the need for redesign.

Check out the City of Regina page before proceeding with your build

What is your budget?

Of course, budget plays a factor in the size and features of your deck. Calculating a deck budget is influenced by square footage and quality of materials.

Will you use wood, cedar or composite?

Wooden decks can certainly be beautiful (and often less expensive than composite materials), they also require significantly more upkeep as you need to protect the wood from weather damage, insects and general wear and tear. Composite, on the other hand, is made from wood fibers and plastic and, while initially more expensive than wood, boasts a longer lifetime without staining, fading or rotting.

Wood Decking: Pressure-Treated-Treated with chemicals to repel insects and water, Southern pine or fir is the most common and least expensive type of decking. Although pressure-treated wood requires yearly washing, sanding, and sealing, when finished with a clear sealant, it can last up to 30 years if maintained properly.

Wood Decking: Rot-Resistant-Cedar, cypress, and redwood are naturally rot-resistant. These woods cost more than pressure-treated lumber, but will last many years with proper care. You’ll find them readily in coastal areas of the West and South for their ability to withstand salt spray. Redwood is the most expensive, while cypress isn’t as strong as other wood types.

Wood Alternatives: Composite Decking-Made with recycled materials like wood waste and plastic sacks, composite decking requires minimal maintenance, doesn’t need to be sanded or painted, and is generally weather-resistant. It also comes in a variety of colors and styles.

Size, shape and design

Who says decking has to be square? Choose decking with unusual angles or curves to add drama to your backyard.

Too much sun? A pergola can transform your deck from a platform to an outdoor room. Not only does it provide shade, but it gives you a place to attach speakers, lights, fans, and hanging plants.

Amenities such as lighting, sound systems, or fans make outdoor structures popular places to be during warm weather.

Rather than finding ways to incorporate these amenities after the deck is finished, plan for these features by hiding wires and attaching structures during the construction phase.

What about the railing?

Railings not only provide safety, they can also help beautify a deck. An innovative railing can turn an average deck into a thing of beauty. Glass, aluminum or wood?

Is this a DIY project?

Decks require a certain amount of carpentry, engineering, and do-it-yourself experience. Can you work a circular saw? Have you used a circular saw or own one?

Is your dream deck going to be positioned on questionable ground—like sand, over water, in mud or clay, or unstable soil? If you have doubts as to whether your DIY skills are up to it, investigate further.

Home Owners and DIY Enthusiasts

Useful Tools & Tips:

Tool #1

Want to try to try to plan your deck on your own? Check out this free planner software from our friends at Simpson Strong-Tie

Simpson Strong-Tie Deck Planner

Tool #2

Need help getting your railing installed? Check out these videos from our partner at Century Railings

Century Railings

We’ve got you covered.

Speak with an experienced associate for information on how we can help.

Contact us