While I was researching the best Pensacola Deck builders to hire for my decking project, I found out the top 10 reasons why most people failed woefully when building their decks.  You and I are probably in the same scenario, which is why it’s good to unveil these mistakes so we can both save ourselves days of fruitless efforts.

If you’re reading this article now, chances are you’re set to build your own deck but need to figure out the best way to go about it. If this sounds like you, then you’re in for big luck!

Perhaps you’re only considering decking as a way of increasing the value of your home and creating a spectacular space for your family but ignore the big task involved. When decks are not properly built, the tendency for it to collapse can be very high. This is not good for you as it can result in injuries or even death. Before you begin to construct your deck, make sure you consider some of the mistakes homeowners make which may involve the choice of materials, fixings and fasteners, and other key steps they tend to ignore.

Top 10 Mistakes Building a Deck - Pensacola FL

10 Common Deck-Building Mistakes to Avoid    

There are many mistakes that people make when building their decks, here are the top 10 mistakes you must watch out for when starting your decking:

1. Ignoring Open Risers and Missing Railings

One of the common mistakes most deck builders or homeowners make when constructing their decks is forgetting to close that open space between their stairs and missing entirely the railing.  This is very dangerous as it can cause injuries or even death while you’re trying to catch your foot when walking up onto the deck. Just as leaving an open space between the stairs is very dangerous, missing a railing can invite an accident especially when you need it to keep your balance while climbing up the stairs. More so, the absence of railing around your deck can give rise to the possibility of people accidentally falling off the deck.   

2. Leaving Wood Unsealed

There are many benefits to gain from using sealed wood on your decks including preventing water from penetrating the surface of the wood, preserving the integrity of the wood from ultraviolet damage, and maintaining the natural look of the wood for many years, among others. As for unsealed wood, when used on your deck, the deck will rot, splinter or decay.  So you mustn’t leave your decking wood unsealed to make sure the wood lasts longer.

3. Incorrect Spacing of Blusters or improper Railing Height

While there are different building codes for different areas, you should consult your local building authority to find out what’s applicable in your area. Regardless of areas, what’s most important about the building codes is to adhere to the given measurements for baluster spacing and the railing height. By properly spacing your baluster and maintaining the right railing height, you can reduce the chance of a child getting stuck in between the balusters or falling over railings.

4. Improper Joist Hangers

Joist hangers are used to strengthen a load-bearing connection – to reinforce and support your deck – and, as such, you must be very meticulous when choosing the joist hangers to use. More so, as you’ll most likely use different fixings and fasteners to give your deck strong support and reinforcement, sticking with one type of fastener wouldn’t be enough. Above all, always opt for joist hangers with the best size, correct installation, and engineering.

5. Choosing Wrong Structural Components and Materials

A deck is built using different types of fasteners, fixings, and wood. Choosing the wrong size of the wood can lead to the deck collapsing, sagging, and warping.  And your deck may not be able to stand the test of weather if you do not use the proper size of wood, fasteners, and fixings.  

6. Forgetting About Flashing

Your deck security and durability depend on what measures you put in place for water management. I can’t stress this enough but water management is a critical factor to consider when building your decks. With proper flashing in place, you can protect your home from mishaps of erosion.

7. Ignoring Building Permits and Codes

While you can decide to build your deck as you like there are codes and permits you must follow or obtain. Although there are different building requirements for different areas, the processes are generally the same. To start building your decks, make sure you already have a copy of your local codes for deck and rails building, and then submit your drawings and specifications of your decks to your local authority.  Or if you’re someone like my friend in Pensacola, who always prefer to go the easiest way – hiring expert Pensacola deck builders to do the whole stressful job for him – you too can choose to use the service of an expert. There are good number of Pensacola deck builders who offer start-to-finish services in processing permit from submission and resubmission (in case there is a mistake), and from plan review to getting the permit issued. 

8. Using Wrong Fasteners and Fixings

While you’ll be using different structural components and materials when building your decks, the decking board alone is not enough to reinforce and support your decks.  When attaching the deck to your home, you must choose the right fasteners and fixings. Using correct fasteners will not only guarantee the durability of your deck it’ll also ensure the safety of your deck.

9. Wrong Footings

Just like every other factor already highlighted above, you must choose the right baseboards or footings for your deck. As you already know, the baseboards of your deck are the base on which the top wood of your deck lies, and so you must make sure the footings are not only of the right size but also very solid. Otherwise, your deck will start to sag, warp, or even collapse within a short time.  

10. Not Planning or Making Adjustments Early

Proper planning is a roadmap for success in any construction project including deck building. This part is very important in ensuring a better design. We are all bound to make mistakes and deck building isn’t an exception. Make sure you make any modifications you think you should make in the design phase of your decking project as early as possible. Waiting too long to make changes can mess up your design and you should avoid this from the very start of your project.