deck building tips

Decking Out Your Backyard: The Best Deck Building Tips

According to recent statistics, 64.8 percent of Americans are classified as homeowners. If you’re among the ranks of those falling into this statistic, congratulations! There’s nothing that screams independence and self-sufficiency as much as owning and managing the property you’ve selected for your needs.

While it’s can be a difficult task, sprucing up your home can be a lot of fun, too. Building a deck outside your home is an awesome way to declare your space your own and create a cozy environment to read, hang out with loved ones, and enjoy the outdoors.

You may be asking how you build a deck- after all, you aren’t a trained carpenter! Well, it actually isn’t as difficult as it looks. While building a deck- raised or otherwise- takes time, it’s pretty easy to learn to DIY.

Read on for some deck building tips that will get you started in creating the space of your dreams!

Getting Started

Before you can actually begin to build, there are some considerations that you’ll need to think about. From practicalities like space and money to envisioning your dream space, there’s so much to keep in mind. Read on to learn what some of these considerations are!

Do Your Research

Start out by having a little fun online and doing some internet research on how others have made their decks work for them. This means reading how-to guides and testimonials, but it also means browsing Pinterest and looking at finished deck projects. By doing this, you’ll decide what styles and designs work for you and which you find less appealing.

Measure Your Space

Before you can even have a vision for what you want to do with your outdoor space, it’s crucial that you take the measurements of the place that your deck will occupy. So much of how you’ll layout and design your deck is dependent on the amount of space you’ll have, so not taking these measurements will force you to get ahead of yourself.

Get out your tape measurer and measure the height and width of the area your deck will occupy. Once this is done, you’ll have a pretty decent picture of the shapes and sizes of foundational wood you’ll need to buy. You’ll also have a concept of what furniture, shelves, and items you can fit on your deck, which is essential to having a vision.

Have a Vision

The next thing to do is to come up with an idealized vision of your perfect deck. Now that you know what will fit in your space, consider what you ultimately want it to look like.

There are lots of high-quality and beautiful cuts of wood that you can use when designing your deck. When creating your goal vision, imagine the wood that you like best as a sort of centerpiece that ties the room together. How will your shelves, decorations, and furniture match up with it? 

Know Your Budget

Being a dreamer is fun, but there’s another practical consideration to take into account: your budget. Use your idealized vision for your deck as a basis for what you do, but make sure that everything you buy fits into the budget. This means that you’ll need to make some pragmatic adjustments, but we hope it isn’t too much!

Budgeting can be tricky, so make sure that you write everything down. Look through all your bank accounts and decide how much you’re willing to invest. A deck isn’t worth going into debt for, so force yourself to operate within that budget and you’ll be fine!

Getting Ready

Once your research is done, it’s time to find the appropriate tools and materials that you’ll need when building your deck. Read on to learn what some of these items are and figure out how to get a hold of them.

Learn How to Build

You’re now going to need to figure out how to build your deck. You likely found some great articles on this while doing preliminary research- make sure that you go back and read all those articles carefully.

Be 100% sure that you understand the terminology that you’ll encounter in instruction sheets and that you learn some basic facts about carpentry. You don’t need to be an expert, but you also can’t be totally ignorant.

Get the Right Wood

Now that you’re done with the preliminary steps, it’s time to find and buy the perfect wood for your deck! You’ve got lots of options here, so take a look around. Dark IPE decking wood is awesome because it already has eased edges so they fit together easily, making DIY simple. You can also get Garapa decking, which has that same benefit but also comes in a lighter color. They’re both awesome, so it’s your choice, really! 

Have the Appropriate Tools

In addition to wood, you’re going to need specific tools in your toolbox when you get to work. Hammers, nails, and drills are no-brainers that you probably have laying around your garage, but you may need to go buy deck fasteners and primer paint. Miter saws and nail guns are also crucial when working with large quantities of wood, so think the practicalities through.

Getting Building

Now that you know what you’re doing and have a goal in mind, it’s time to get to building your deck. In this section, we’ll be discussing how to lay the foundation for your deck and get the space in tip-top shape, so keep your eyes peeled!

Lay the Foundation

The first thing to do when building your deck is to lay down its foundation. Create the ‘skeleton’ for your deck by placing thick wood around the perimeter of the area. This will give you a good idea of the layout you’re working with. 

Then, use your decking wood to create the floor. You can even buy pre-grooved decking to make your life easier when trying to fit the wood together! Nail these grooves together and use invisible deck fasteners to coat the entire area’s surface in good-looking wood.

Put on Doors Correctly

Your deck is obviously going to need doors leading into the house, so you’re going to need to put them in properly. The key to this is lowering the deck’s surface (everywhere- you want it to be level) so the door is at least an inch above it. You don’t want your door to struggle with swinging open and closes, so make sure that you leave a gap large enough beneath the door for it to be functional.

Build Better Stairs

Not all decks are raised, but if yours is you’re going to need to consider how to build the stairs in addition to the deck itself. You’re going to need to calculate the rise and run of your stairs so you know how much wood you need. You also will need to ensure that everything is even and they’re going to the right place on your deck.

Building deck stairs is a topic that requires a whole other article, so click here for some additional tips on doing this!

Getting Decorations

So you’ve built your deck- congratulations! The hard work is over. Now you can get to customizing your space and make it into a place where you really feel at home. Read on for some tips on how to make your deck the most relaxing place possible.

Get Some Furniture

In order to have a comfortable deck space, you will, of course, need furniture. There are lots of cozy chairs and couches you can get at the store, but you’ve come this far- why not DIY your furniture, too? 

Use the same wood you did for the deck- you can even use the leftovers if you have any!- and get to work. You can create the bones of the furniture in the same way you did the deck. Once it’s done, you can paint this furniture any color you like and add cushions.

Create a Color Scheme

Speaking of painting, you’re going to want to come up with a color scheme for your deck’s decor. While you could just choose colors you arbitrarily like, another interesting way to do this is to use color psychology. Blue is awesome if you want a calming space to read, but for an energizing and warm space to garden on a terrace, pick yellow.

More Deck Building Tips

As a homeowner, it’s important to take measures to make your house a place that represents your values and desires. Building a deck can help you customize your space, show off your hard work, and give you a place to do the activities you love most.

Now that you have all the essential deck building tips to get started on this project that will make your home your own, it’s time to actually get cracking. Check out this page to learn the prices of whatever high-quality wood you might choose to build your deck from. We offer a wide variety of sizes and woods at various prices, so you have a lot of options to pick from.

Good luck, DIY extraordinaire!

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