5 Things To Do Before Building Your Own Deck

It's one of the most popular DIY projects for first-timers, yet many homeowners wind up leaving their decks half-finished when they realize they didn't plan enough ahead to finish the job in a neat and timely manner. Don't let your dream deck become one of those sad skeletal frames lying abandoned in the yard! Use these five tips to form a workable plan and see it through to completion.

1: Make A Budget

The cost of building your own deck will vary wildly depending on things like size and timber type, but even before you start crunching numbers, decide how much you're willing to spend overall. You should only start making decisions on materials once you've given yourself a limit for their price.

2: Map Your Yard

Make a rough sketch of your yard that includes all pipelines and drains. Grab a measuring tape and figure out the dimensions you'll be working with when you order wood. Mark the positions of potential footings before you actually dig them.

3: Consult A Designer

How do you want your deck to look? Are you envisioning steps, levels and screens? Do you want something traditionally rectangular or fashionably circular? Decide on a few basics so you can give the designers direction when you sit and start creating a mock-up together. For more inspiration on deck styles, check out decking and timber companies like softwoods.com.au.

4: Consider Special Features

What will be the primary use of your deck? This will inform what perks and add-ons might interest you in the designing process. For example, if you anticipate holding a lot of gatherings, bench seating will be a comfortable way to accommodate multiple guests. If you're a birdwatcher looking for a morning platform, a good view into the trees will be paramount. If you have a steel barn or storage shed in your yard, consider a walkway or staircase leading from your deck out to it.

5: Know Your Lingo

What's the difference between a joist and a fitting bearer? Are you going to use steel or zinc masonry anchors? It's important that you grasp the basics of deck building before you lay down any boards at all. If you get lost and need assistance from a technical manual or hardware store employee, you'll want to understand what they're saying.

These are just five things to keep in mind when contemplating the creation of a new deck. Before jumping in with nothing but a hammer and a sense of enthusiasm, take the time to form a working plan. You'll be glad you did.