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DIY Deck Construction Basics

March 15th, 2012

Today, several homeowners are trying to save money when renovating their home. They would rather perform the work themselves, instead of hiring a contractor or professional. You don’t have to be an expert to learn how to build a deck, but having some basic knowledge of tools and lumber are a plus.

DIY deck construction

When looking for deck plans, be sure to find one that goes with the space you have in mind. There are several free resources available on the internet to help you with your deck plans. You can also choose to hire a professional deck designer to ensure the deck you build is the proper fit and shape for the space.
Deck construction typically begins with excavating the chosen area and setting the posts. Once the concrete has fully cured, the deck is framed and in some cases support beams use joist hangers and extremely large lag bolts to connect to the existing home’s foundation.

The decking (horizontal boards you stand on with your feet) is installed, some prefer nails for their finished look, some will use screws for the extra strength. If you use nails, however, be careful if you have a soft wood like cedar because if you miss the nail you will leave hammer marks. The last step of deck construction is the railing, for safety reasons. Some will apply stain or even paint to create the finished product, and protect the lumber to ensure the deck will last for years to come.

Custom Deck Ideas – Bird Feeders and Landscaping

February 14th, 2012

If you are looking for custom deck construction ideas to take your garden to the next level, a bird feeder could be just the thing you need. A bird feeder is a table or platform that you put bird food on, usually in a home gardening environment. Using bird feeders can create great landscaping garden ideas, and ultimately turn your garden into a home for any wild birds passing through your neighborhood. You would usually fill them with different kinds of grain for the various species of birds roaming through. The seeds most often used are safflower, millet, thistle and sunflower.

Custom Deck Ideas

Aside from just feeding birds, bird feeder decking ideas also surprise us with visits from some of the rarest bird species in our own home garden. Bird feeders are often equipped with webcams to capture these rare moments. Depending on the species of bird the feeder is for, bird feeders come in different designs and kinds.

A very popular kind of feeder is a seed feeder. These feeders often come with sunflower seeds. Different kinds of seeds are often separated by sections.

On the other hand, you also have hummingbird feeders that have a liquid feed. This is most often a sugary syrup that hummingbirds like. The syrup solution is colored brightly to attract them. However you should be careful when you pick the coloring, as toxic coloring could make the birds sick. Another kind of bird feeder with liquid feed is an oriole feeder. They tend to be orange so take that into consideration when planning out your decking ideas.

Aside from how good the feed is, the effectiveness of a feeder most depends on where it is placed, and how far away it is from bothersome little creatures like cats and squirrels. Squirrels tend to take bird feed and carry it to their homes, wasting your efforts to feed the birds.

Bird Feeder Deck Idea on Railing Feeder

Despite all the joys and advantages of bird feeders and what they give to birds as well as us, feeders do have their negative points as well; namely for birds. If you do not maintain clean water and feed you leave the birds at risk to spread diseases when they come in contact with each other. And as one species gets overtaken by disease, another species grows, which leads to an imbalance in ecology.

So if you’ve gotten some decking ideas of installing a bird feeder, go ahead and enjoy the company of our feathered friends. But remember to keep it maintained to look out for them as well.

Free Deck Plans – Where to Find Them

February 13th, 2012

Planning on beginning with a new deck construction project?  Don’t have to budget to hire an expensive architect to plan your new deck?  There are several ways for a do it yourself type of homeowner to find free deck plans, and they are often as easy as a few simple searches.  I will highlight my favorite and easiest ways to acquire some quality free deck plans.

Free Deck Plans

The Internet

This is the most obvious, largest resource available for free deck plans.  If you are reading this article now odds are you have a computer and internet connection at your disposal.  There are several high quality websites that have a massive variety of free deck plans available, all you have to do is look around and see which type of free deck plan suits your deck construction needs the best.

Building Supply Store

Often times there are free deck plans and other renovation plans available at your local hardware or building supplies store.  Be sure to ask an associate when you are buying your lumber if they have any free deck plans available as you were interested.  Most of the time they are able to provide you with high quality, free deck plans from experienced construction professionals.  This is an easy way to filter out some of the poor quality plans found on the internet.

Small Deck Design

Ask a friend/neighbor/relative who recently built a deck

Sometimes you may know someone personally who has recently had a deck built or built a deck themselves who would be happy to provide you with some free deck plans.  The only problem is most houses have different spaces available for deck building and the plan may not work with the space you had in mind for a deck.  This method to get free deck plans can work great with neighbors in new sub-divisions with very similar houses.  They may have had some great small deck ideas that would work well with your new home.