Have you been looking for a new place to hang out outside, a nice place to grill up some burgers, or to just sit and read a book in the sun? A new deck may be just what’s in order. Building a deck isn’t as hard as it may seem. You can do it yourself with a few weekends of work. Or, you can hire a general contractor to come and do the work for you. Either way here’s an overview of the process to help get you on your way.
As with any project, the first step will be to draw up a plan. Where do you want the deck? How will you access it? How big should it be? All of these questions need to be answered during the planning stages. After your construction plan is in place then you can move on to any demolition that needs to happen. If you have an existing porch or stoop you’ll need to get rid of that first. If there is a fence or steps in the way, rip ’em out!
Once you have your area cleared and prepped, you’re ready to begin your deck. You’ll first want to measure and stake out where you are going to dig for your posts. Then, commence digging! After your holes are all dug you’ll need to mix up your cement and set your posts. Pressure treated lumber is the most popularly used material for deck posts. However, it’s not the most environmentally friendly. After 2004 pressure treated lumber has been arsenic free, however it is still impregnated with a myriad of substances to prevent it from rotting. Cedar and Hemlock are both well suited woods for making deck posts because of their inherent ability to withstand and repel water and the other elements that rot wood. These are much more earth friendly options because no harmful chemicals are added to get the same results.
After you’ve set your posts in the concrete, and they’ve fully dried, you can start to build the floor of your deck. First you’ll install your deck joists and attach them to the posts. Then you can begin the task of putting down all of your flooring. Try to pay attention to where you set your screws so that your lines are straight and so everything is nice and tight. You’ll also want to watch your measurements. Try to use your material as conservatively as possible. Again, you can choose wood for your flooring or you can choose composite decking. Composite decking is made of recycled plastic and wood pulp. It is pretty durable and fairly easy to install.
When your flooring is all done, it’s then time to move on to the railing. Again, you can use wood (both pressure treated and hard woods like cedar or hemlock) or composite material for your railing. After your railing is installed, you’re ready to have the neighbors over for a BBQ! If you decide to use a general contractor to build your deck and are planning construction in the Fairfax, Virginia area you can call D.R. Hartman Construction Inc.