Have you ever wanted to learn how to build your home decks yourself? Has anyone boasted you can’t build a deck all by yourself? If you have been taking this hook, line, and sinker, now is the time to prove them wrong. In this article, you’re going to see the simple do-it-yourself tips you need to follow to make your deck last longer.

The Truth No One Told You about Building a Deck

One question we get asked many times by new homeowners is: can I build breathtakingly beautiful decks for my home without hiring a professional? The answer is YES. And, frankly speaking, you don’t have to possess the same level of skills as most of the Pensacola deck builders to construct a simple platform deck for your family and make it last longer.

Building a deck is certainly not a task outside the skills of most homeowners especially if you’re ready to give it a try during one of your free weekends. And most interestingly, the framing issues and the power tools requirements are not as complicated as many think. However, there are handful of things you need to be conscious of as you’re about to start to construct your new deck.

Things to Consider Before Building Your New Deck

Figuring out the Code Requirement in Your Locality

Since you’ll be building your deck yourself, the onus is on you to wear all the hats. Except you’re like most of my friends in Pensacola, who are diehard advocates of hiring it all out, you want to save the cost and learn to do things yourself when you think you can. So getting started to build your deck, the first thing you want to do is to talk to your local building inspector to figure out what the codes are in your municipality. Ask all the questions there are to ask including whether you need a permit to build your deck, what the footer depths and setbacks from the property lines you should maintain, among others.

Getting Creative Ideas for Your Deck

Once you’re done with the legal issues, the next thing you want to do is to start brainstorming ideas for creating your deck.  To do this, the first place to start your research is by checking books containing pictures of existing decks. While you can easily construct a simple rectangle off on top of your head, checking out books about decks will help you create something better. Checking out books about decks will go a long way in opening up your creativity and letting you see more potential in building your new deck.

Planning Your Deck

Planning your deck is one of the most crucial steps you want to spend most of your time on. Fortunately, there are many software packages available that’ll help you plan and design your deck.  Some of the best deck design software packages you can rely on for designing a deck of your dream include:

7 Tips to Build Your Dream Deck That Will Last Longer

1. Cover Your Joists

One of our preciously guarded secrets to building a deck of our dream is covering the joists when building the deck frame.  By doing this, we can rest assured no water is left standing on the top of the joists. There are many ways to do this including putting a drip edge on top of the joists before laying the deck. You can also choose to lay a thin sheet of metal on top of the decking first. Whichever way you choose, the most important thing is to not allow water to remain standing on the joist.

2. Space the Deck Boards

Creating a gap between wood decking boards is essential to allow for better drainage and to avoid the board collecting debris. More so, the gap shouldn’t be too small that water wouldn’t be able to flow or too small for you to sweep away the debris in between the boards.

3. Allow Screws to Flush With the Top Surface

This is another essential tip to follow to make sure your deck to last longer. When driving in the screws, make sure you don’t sink them too far into the decking materials. This is very important so water isn’t left standing or soaked in the decking.

4. Use Doubled Joists for your Decking Base

When building a deck, there is the possibility you’ll have a slight gap in-between your deck boards (at the joints or where two boards meet). This gap will allow water running down in the gap to remain standing on the top of the joist. So to avoid this, you need to make sure your decking structure is built with double joists at the joints.  However, you need to incorporate this in your design planning ahead of time so you don’t have complications while starting the project. At the very beginning of the design planning, figure out where you want your joints to be.

By planning for this earlier and by using the right materials (especially the correct lengths of decking), you can reduce wastage of wood cutting and of using lots of double joists.

5. Figure out the Weather and the Drying Time of the Stain

This tip is essentially useful if you’re looking for a way to successfully stain your decks. Whether you plan to stain your deck in the spring or in the autumn, you must, first of all, understand the weather and how long it’ll take for the stain to dry. In most cases, you should be able to find this information written on the body of the can, which should contain information as to the functional temperature range for applying the stain and for how long it’ll take for the stain to dry.    

6. Make Provision for at Least 2% Slope in Your Deck Construction

It’s worth mentioning at this juncture that you shouldn’t forget to allow for at least a 2% slope in your deck away from the structures. And you should factor this in your plan right from the time you’re constructing your decking base by making sure both the slope and the decking base follow the same angle. By doing this will make sure water can drain properly and in the right direction.

7. Choose the Right Deck’s Wood Grain

Last but not least in our 7 Simple DIY Tips for Making Your Deck Last Longer is to remember to choose carefully your deck’s wood grain. Depending on the direction your growth rings of the wood will be facing. If you’re working with the one facing up (known as convex), or the one facing downward (concave), you’re likely going to face a situation of whether water will be repelled from the surface or left standing on the surface. Above all, you should consider shedding water when choosing deck’s wood grain for your deck. By making the right choice here, you can guarantee your deck will last longer.