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The Deck of Your Dreams

You got this, right? You have a nail gun, a circular saw, a hammer, a bunch of big, long nails and a YouTube video.  You’ve got yourself a deck for sure.

Not so fast, cowboy.  There’s that pesky planning process to go through before you start so that what you end up with is truly the deck of your dreams.

First, decide what you want the finished product to look like and how you will use it. Think beyond the flat rectangle. Could the deck wrap around to the side of the house? Could you create various levels to define functional areas with elevations? For example, the dining table could be on a higher level than the cozy firepit space. Do you need to enclose the deck with a railing or privacy screen? When designing, remember that functionality is as important as space.

Materials

Choosing your construction material is a complex decision. You have to balance budget, climate, maintenance, and aesthetic. Adding a deck increases your home’s value, and the material you use helps determine how much you gain — typically, you can recoup up to 65% of the cost of a composite deck or 70% of a wood deck.

  • A traditional choice is natural wood decking — cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods that have rich color and a warm, inviting appearance. But wood has some real drawbacks – high initial cost and performing annual maintenance is a must.
  • Pressure treated lumber is an affordable and durable alternative to natural wood. The wood is exposed to high pressure that forces water and preservatives deep into the lumber to slow natural decay and resist termites, fungus, moisture and other elements that harm wood.
  • Composite decking is made by blending plastic (polyethylene, polypropylene, or PVC) with wood fibers such as wood chips or sawdust. Composites resist warping, rot and insect infestations and is the most long-lasting choice.

Frills? Yes, please.

Consider construction techniques that will make your deck uniquely yours. There are a multitude of options other than straight-line decking. Herringbone layout or angled decking provide great visual appeal. Those will increase costs, but also value. Then add in any extra features such as shade structures, built-in planters, benches and seating, a water feature, a pizza oven or a fire pit.

  • Deck lighting is more than functional. Think about putting lights into stair risers, up-lighting a tree, using soft low-wattage string lights for ambience. Effective and efficient lighting extends the deck’s usefulness into fall’s shorter days, is aesthetically pleasing, and an important safety consideration.
  • Will you create a deck large enough to accommodate a screened area or gazebo? An enclosed space provides relief from Delaware’s hot summer sun and disease-carrying mosquitoes.

So, about that nail gun and You Tube video – are you reconsidering the wisdom of DIY? You’re going to make a significant investment into your home. Why not invest a little more and get guidance from an experienced home improvement company that will guide you on permits and code, durability and safety, a design that’s in keeping with your home style and your aesthetic, and that will be useful and comfortable for every member of the family for years and years.

Ferris Home Improvements, with our dedicated staff of skilled construction professionals, brings more than 40 years of experience to your project. Those years of experience ensure the highest quality craftsmanship and a promise of 100% dedication to the successful completion of your project. Call us for a free consultation and estimate.