As the temperature rises, we naturally want to spend more time outside relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. What better way to make the most of the summer than with a backyard oasis of your own? If you are a homeowner looking to build a deck or patio space, read on for a few tips to make the most of this experience.
To DIY, or Not to DIY
Some of us are handy individuals who naturally are great at building things with our own two hands and can be found wandering the local hardware shops ‘just for fun’. Then there are others who have never swung a hammer.
If you happen to fall into the latter category – no sweat! There are plenty of tutorials online, books, magazines and even local hardware classes to instruct on building a deck. If you happen to know someone who is handy with a hammer – you can always recruit them with the promise of cold drinks and pizza!
It is not uncommon to hire an experienced tradesperson to build a fence, deck or patio space. A quick local google search will showcase plenty of companies willing to come take a look and quote a cost.
Benefits to hiring someone would include a quicker timeline, less mess and they already have the necessary equipment ready to go. Once you find a company, checking references is always a good idea for peace of mind. Make sure you collect and share images of your design intent to best communicate what you want.
Gone are the days where every deck you saw was made from pressure treated lumber. While that remains the most common choice due to cost-effectiveness, especially for newer home builds, there is a wide variety of new materials available.
Composite decking is gaining in popularity, as it is man made and built to last; they are waterproof, stain and scratch resistant and won’t crack and leave you with splinters in your feet. Check out your local hardware store or deck material supplier to check it out.
Stone patio spaces also remain popular, but stamped concrete made to look like flagstones are a wonderful option. It has less maintenance than stone, although it is recommended having this poured by a professional and experienced trade.
Likely the most boring, yet critically important part of building a deck is the building code. Local codes dictate how high decks can be above grade, and how many stairs and railing is required. There are also rules on how large the decks can be, and how close to property lines they can be located. You will also require a permit for any new structure or build on your property, so best to check your local town or city guide for more information.