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Money Saving Ideas for Building a Deck

February 6th, 2012

So, you have decided to finally build the deck of your dreams in the backyard. In the planning, designing and the deck construction of that very special deck there are a variety of ways to save money:

Save Money on Decks

1. Design your deck so that you use standard dimensions of lumber (8, 10, 12 and 16 foot lengths) in your deck structure rather than odd sizes. Have the deck extend out from the house 12 feet rather than 11 or 13 feet. This will eliminate waste which can add up to wasted money.

2. Visit deck material supply outlets in your community and compare prices. Look for weekend or seasonal discount specials that you can take advantage of. If necessary use the good old credit card to obtain that special discount and/or collect those air miles or reward miles too. After all there’s nothing like a free vacation once the construction work is done.

3. Prepare a list of the materials that you will require to build your deck and their quantities also. Make several copies and submit them to several deck material supply outlets. Explain that you will give your business to the material supply outlet that provides the best deal on comparative building products.

4. If you and one or more of your friends, relatives or neighbors plan to construct a deck at the same time, work together to collectively obtain the very best price deal from deck material supply outlets. These retail stores will likely give you an extra discount because you are purchasing a greater volume of lumber.

5. Purchase items such as screws, bolts, nails, etc. in bulk quantities rather than individually or in samller packages. Money can be saved by shopping around to find material supply outlets that sell by the pound or case.

Deck Hardware

6. Consider renting a tool or piece of equipment rather than purchase it especially if you are not likely to use it much in the future. Home improvement centers and rental outlets have a wide range of tools and equipment that customers can rent at reasonable prices as opposed to purchasing tools and equipment.

7. Do not use an entire piece of sonotube in a post support hole. Instead fill the hole with concrete mix and insert a 3 or 4 inch piece of sonotube at the ground surface to act as a collar. This will prevent any column movement in the ground and make your deck support system more stable. In the end you will use much less sonotubing and cut costs.

8. Each time that you cut a piece of pressure treated lumber brush on a seal/preservative to protect the newly exposed surface. This will protect your wood warranty and ensure that your deck will not deteriorate over time and create an expensive deck repair situation.

9. Use the proper hardware when constructing your deck. Screws last much longer than nails and generally do not pop up necessitating deck repairs. Use galvanized hardware rather than powder coated hardware. The former may be a bit more expensive but in the long run will last far longer and will most likely not require fixing. When you go cheap you’re often courting disaster.

10.Apply a protective finish to your completed deck. It will protect your investment and ensure that your deck will not deteriorate and require one or more expensive deck repairs.

The key to successful deck building is to plan, design and construct that deck you have wanted for so long in the best way possible. As far as cost is concerned you can do it the smart way and follow the suggestions above to cut those costs or do it that other way and watch the expenses add up.

How to Build a Deck – The Very Basics of Deck Construction

February 6th, 2012

In order to efficiently construct a deck no matter if you use an expert or you build a deck yourself, you need a properly laid out deck plans and design.

Decks remain a popular choice with regards to home improvement and reviewing deck plans can go a long way in helping you to decide what kind of deck you want. Decide for plans that have a proven background for the best results.

1. Design the Deck

Even before you begin to build a deck you need to cover some basic things such as where the deck is going to be situated as well as the size it’s to be. You must also determine the materials you want to use and how access to the deck is going to be achieved.

Deck Design

Then you should contact your local zoning board so that you are aware of the permits and licenses that you will need.  Review some deck design plans to help you get a few suggestions regarding the look and feel of the deck that you want.

2. The Layout

When it comes to completing your project successfully you must determine the right locations for the deck footings and to do that there are 2 methods to use:  Firstly, install a ledger board to determine 2 positions at the house to work from. Next, remember that your deck plans will be in 2d and so you will need to ensure your lines are leveled. This will ensure that your deck is not misshapen upon conclusion.

3. Setting the Posts

You need to dig a hole and put concrete into it.  A 60 pound bag of ready mix would be advisable. Place the concrete pier into the still wet concrete inside the hole. The concrete will obviously harden around the pier and so provide stability.

Setting Deck Posts

By use of a screw gun and screws you then need to fix the post to the pier. By following this method the post will be neither inside the concrete nor underground and therefore exposed to the elements. The post will then be attached above the ground between the metal anchors which are attached to the pier.

4. Framing the Decking

It is important that you employ heavy-duty supports as well as pressure treated lumber when constructing the component parts as the deck framing needs to be sturdy enough in order to properly support both weight of the deck and hold up with the passage of time.

Just like correct framing is essential for houses likewise it is necessary for decks. There exist several ways to achieve correct framing which include installing ledgers and beams so as to pour concrete piers and cutting stair stringers. If you’ll need some free advice regarding deck details you should approach your local building authorities.

5. The Deck Stairs

This part is rather easy and anybody having a limited amount of knowledge when it comes to construction really should be able to construct an attractive set without much hassle.

Deck Stairs

A lot of people go for one or two flights of stairs from the deck to the surrounding yard.  Depending on your aesthetic preferences you are able to choose from a variety of different ways to do this. Keep in mind that some municipalities do have specific codes that you will need to be aware of and take into account when you design the stairs. Some municipalities actually require a minimum width of three feet for the stairs so find out about that first.

6. Finishing the Deck

Just about all decks will face weather fluctuations and if you neglect to apply a protective coating to your finished deck you will run into problems sooner or later. To avoid the wood weathering you should make sure that you finish it soon after you have finished building it. Woods such as pressure treated wood, cedar, and redwood are all examples of wood that will require protection.