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Building the Ideal Deck

Building the Ideal Deck By Miriam Kasdan
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Chances are, if your dream home doesn't already have a deck, you'll want to build one. Who doesn't imagine backyard barbecues or summertime snacks on the deck, basking in the sunshine? The best plan is to work with a contractor on the deck's design, materials, and landscaping.

Common Deck Materials

Redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated wood, including alternative materials, are the most common deck-building materials. Out of those, one deck expert recommends redwood as the best choice for decking boards, railing systems, outdoor furniture, and other exterior uses. Using recycled materials could make your deck almost maintenance-free.

Plan Your Deck Before You Build It

Before leaping into your deck's construction, consider these questions in planning its use:
  • Will you use your deck for entertaining?
  • Are there any special designs planned for the guardrail?
  • Do you need an area for eating?
  • Are you thinking about adding a spa?
  • Do you need a ramp?
  • What about an overhead structure in case of rain?
  • Would you like planter boxes?
  • Are there trees in the area where the deck will be built?
  • Would you like lights for evening entertaining?
  • How about built-in benches?
  • Are there any local or neighborhood restrictions as to the deck's placement or height?

Once you've answered these questions and others that may arise, you're ready to consult with a contractor. Keep in mind that your deck should reflect your personality, but also add to your home's resale value. Try to incorporate the deck into its surrounding environment. In no time, you should be enjoying that outdoor barbecue.


About the Author
Miriam Kasdan has been writing and editing marketing and technical materials for almost 20 years and specializes in home improvement features. Miriam earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.

*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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