Perhaps the most common question asked by homeowners is: “Where can I get some good ideas for my wood deck design?” There are many places where you can look. One of the best sources of information is, of course, on the Internet, where you can find hundreds and hundreds of company websites where wood deck designs are featured – complete with photographs and in some cases even downloadable plans (you may have to purchase these).
The second requirement of a good wood deck design is that it will be detailed. Not only the drawings themselves will be detailed, but the plans will also specify the exact amount of materials that will be needed. This is a necessity, in order to be able to estimate your construction costs.
When planning your wood deck design, you need to consider the purpose for your deck. What will you be using it for? Barbecues? Family get-togethers? For sunbathing next to the pool or beach? Will you need room for the family pets or for your children to play? Perhaps you will need a deck around a Jacuzzi or hot tub. The purpose for your deck will determine it’s size, as well as the design that you will need.
Make sure that if you will be using your deck for special purposes – such as entertaining, or for the kids – that your wood deck designs incorporate areas for any special equipment (such as a barbecue, bar, hot tub, sandbox, or area for sunbathing).
Many homeowners try to save money on their wood deck design by using cheap lumber – especially lumber that is not designed for continuous exposure out-of-doors. Pressure-treated lumber is best: this type of lumber will discourage insects from eating into it, and it will last much longer when exposed to rain, snow and ice. In the same way, don’t use cheap hardware (brackets, nails and screws) as these cheap metals can rust very quickly and cause your wood deck to need repair.
Essential requirements for any wood deck design is that the work must pass code inspection, that it be sturdy and solid in construction (both for safety reasons, and also to ensure that your wood deck will last). Of course, any wood deck design must also meet your family’s unique needs.
Of course, the wood selected for your decking project should be able to last for years exposed to elements. You will need to use pressure-treated or preserved wood. Don’t waste money using plain lumber as it will not last as long. Properly treated wood will also help preserve your wood from insect infestation and decay due to moisture.
Once you have chosen the wood deck design that you like best, and have a materials list drawn up, you can then head out to your local DIY center and get an estimate for the total cost of all materials. At this point, you may choose to use another deck design, to lower your materials costs. You should work this out carefully before beginning work on your wood deck. If you are using a contractor, they will supply you with a written estimate for both materials and labor.