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How to build a deck?

How to build a deck?
In this first of two installments dedicated to the steps of building a wood patio, we will answer some fundamental questions that a residential property owner should take the time to carefully consider to identify his or her needs in the planning and budgeting of the project.

First step to build a wooden deck

The first important question to answer: What am I going to use this wood deck or patio for? In fact, a deck is a living area, a new outdoor room that can even be used throughout the four seasons.

A deck generally has many uses such as: relaxing, reading a good book, soaking up some sun before diving into the pool, entertaining guests for cocktails, cooking and eating a good meal, partying for a birthday and possibly storing various gardening or pool supplies above or below its surface.

Therefore, it’s important to carefully reflect on the activities you’ll be doing on your on deck to complement this new living space. The dimensions of your new deck will determine its use.

Tables and garden accessories

Another important question that we need to answer: how big will your table be? Will it be a square (36 x 36) or a rectangle (48 x 60)? A little more, a little less? This is the decisive factor that can influence the choice of surface dimensions of your new outdoor space.

The bigger your table is, the less living space you’re going to have. By planning for this you can avoid unpleasant surprises. You should calculate your table and your deck dimensions to see if it fits and allows enough space to move around. Also, don’t forget to plan a place for the BBQ, lounge chairs, a trendy couch, a hammock or even patio heaters to extend time spent on the deck during cooler evenings.

If you take the time to visualize the space occupied by your furniture, you’ll be better able to appreciate your investment while ensuring optimal use of this new outdoor living area.

Foundation and framing for your deck

Building your own wood deck is easy, but you need to comply with standards issued by your local jurisdiction such as those of the Canadian Wood Council.

Here’s a bit of ecological advice. When you’re considering your deck’s beam span, if you opt for a “wide spacing” column, you use less wood. It’s also faster to install and more environmentally responsible.

Example for a wood deck:

  • 16 mcx of 2x8x12 = 21 cubic feet of wood
  • 10 mcx of 2x10x12 = 17 cubic feet of wood

Consequently, your contribution will make a global difference and will help reduce carbon dioxide.

Now, to guarantee that the foundation will stand up to freezing and thawing, ground movement and load support, it is strongly advised to choose a specialist in the drilling of post holes. The quantity, location and model of the posts is best determined based on significant calculations and proven professional expertise.

Why? Imagine yourself in the summer with a dozen people on your deck during a lively party dancing to rhythmic music. The weight of 12 adults is comparable to an automobile… Imagine your frame trying to support all of this. What could happen to your deck if it doesn’t meet the standards? You could experience a real horror story.

There are many potential solutions on the market for your foundation besides in-ground posts. It’s important to consider the type of soil, its quality, the freezing and thawing factor and the strength. Materials like sono tubes or concrete blocks are also good choices.

In all cases, consult a specialist and a supplier in your area, and make sure you get a warranty on the services and products you’re buying. This way you can enjoy a solution that’s sustainable.

The coatings and finishes

Stay tuned for the next article! We’ll deal with: coatings, stairs, stair railings, privacy screen, pergola… In the meantime, you can have fun planning and estimating your project with the free online application of the Virtual Constructor, can already entertain you.

Invite your friend to use it for their building project!


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