Selection of the type of deck material
Most of the deck designers recommend that the style of your deck must be in line with the style of your house.
To start with, take a close look at the basic shapes, colors, details, and the decking materials which are part of your house.
This is more important if the style of your home is completely unique. Selecting a particular decking material and style helps to add a touch of persona to your new or revamped outdoor space.
Consider the use of the deck
It is important to decide in how your deck will be used.
I like to entertain friends and family on my patio and deck. For your deck you might decide to not only have a deck for entertaining family and friends, but for organizing parties, a place to barbecue or grill, a place to relax in a hot tub or even with a good book.
For me personally, I have part of my deck covered and part in the sun. That way I can easily catch a few rays when I want and I have recently purchased this chair to kick back in and I love it! I can kick way back if I want or just basically sit in it. I don’t know if any of you remember the old banana chairs, but I always had a hard time with those, these zero gravity chairs are soooo much better and I love the teal color.
Consider the deck size
Most of the people who want to build a deck in a DIY manner have a tendency to build a large deck. Therefore, it is necessary to do proper planning and pick the right decking material for style, shape, and size of the deck. If you have a clear idea about the purpose of using the deck, you can effectively decide on the space required for the deck. To get a real visual for the size and shape of your wooden deck, use something like this paint to mark the ground where you want the parameters of your deck to be. Then make sure you can fit everything you want in it. No sense spending time and money and not have your dream deck be too small or too angular in the wrong places. I’ve made that mistake. LOL.
The Type of Wood or Composite Decking Material
Two main types of wood are mostly used in building a deck. Redwood, which is a straight grain wood, is available in various colors from light to dark red. It is quite easy to finish the wood. Heartwood redwood also offers resistance to insects, decay, and rot. It is very expensive, sometimes around four times compared to a pressure treated wood, but it offers numerous benefits.
Western red cedar heartwood offer similar features like a redwood and is easy to work with but it has light color.
Exotic woods are great choices if you wish to have better durability and low maintenance. Pau Lope, Brazilian walnut, ironwood, Brazilian cherry, teak, and Philippine mahogany are some of the examples of exotic woods.
These woods are rich with natural oils and are dense which means that they resist decay, insects, fungal growth, and even fire.
Of course the composite decking has come a long way in both durability and since the cost for composite decking material has come down in price, it will definitely be my next decking material.
Check to see if you need a building permit and Neighborhood Association approval also.
Once you figure out if you want wood or composite decking, you have figured out your deck design and square footage, you need to check to see if you need to get building permits from the building department of your local municipality. If you hire a contractor, they will handle that for you.
If you are going the DIY route, and if the deck requires footing installation, many municipalities require you to obtain building permits. The deck plan will be reviewed by the municipality to ensure that the plan complies with the relevant building codes.
The building codes govern the process of building the deck and hence they can influence the type of deck designs you wish to have for your outdoor area by approving or not approving the deck design.
I find it easier to hire a contractor who know the ins and outs of all of the building codes etc.
But you still need to have an idea of size, shape and materials etc. before talking with a pro as I mentioned before, it will save you time and money and we all like that!