Top Four Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Northern Virginia Deck

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

Investing in your outdoor living space provides an area for relaxation and seasonal fun. If you want to make sure that your Northern Virginia deck is designed properly and built with longevity in mind, avoid these top four common mistakes and create a true backyard paradise.

Do Think Long Term

Design your deck to meet current needs, including size, shape and desired maintenance levels, but remember to consider the future. You may want to incorporate a children’s play area with a sandbox, swing or other play equipment. Or perhaps you dream of a hot tub or outdoor kitchen. Think about how well these features will age and whether or not you’ll be using them in a few years time.

Consider the balance of your yard as well. Do you plan to install a swimming pool in the future, expand your gardens or build a patio? How does the deck design fit into these plans, and how can your Virginia deck builder ensure that your long term goals are accounted for, without sacrificing the comfort of today.

Do Not Over Design

Deck features add style, beauty and function, but including too many to your Northern Virginia deck results in chaos and busyness in an area designated for relaxation. Think about what you hope to do on the deck (suntan, eat, read, nap, etc.) and focus on features that complement those activities.

Remember to consider other members of your family. Although you may never use it, a hammock hanging in one corner may be appreciated.

Certain features add value to any deck, including:

  • lighting
  • shade structures
  • built in seating

But be careful not to over design the space. Find a balance that accounts for the size and shape of your new deck.

Do Expect Disruption

Deck construction is a messy job. From digging post holes to hammering nails and cutting stair stringers, your deck builder will tackle plenty of tasks that create noise, mess and disruption. That’s not to say that your home will be turned upside down during the construction phase, but you must have realistic expectations about the process.

Deck piers require heavy equipment, which is often driven over your grass and gardens. Avoid laying fresh sod or planting new material until the deck crew finishes your project. You’ll also need to provide a space for lumber storage; conscientious contractors often tarp an area of the lawn or driveway for this purpose. Be prepared to share your space with workers and materials during the course of construction.

Do Not Forget to Contact the Local Building Department

Your local Virginia state building department offers guidance on building codes and requirements involved in residential construction. Consult with them before and during the deck design phase and take their valuable direction into consideration.

Contractors know the code and should build a deck to suit it, but wise homeowners familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of building codes in order to make better design decisions.

Avoid these four mistakes and build your Northern Virginia deck with confidence. The project will add value to your property and plenty of space to enjoy the warm season.

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