When we expand the living space from our house outdoors, we are creating our very own “staycation” retreat to enjoy with our family. You picture yourself drinking your morning coffee there or entertaining friends and family. Those are the kind of memories you’re thinking about when making the decision to add a deck to your home.
Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a pro, the key to deck success is considering some important details before you begin.
Step 1: What will your deck be used for?
Let your favorite outdoor activities dictate its size, shape, and features. Think about the size specifically when it comes to what you want. We cannot over-emphasize this point!
Will you be eating family meals on your deck? A good rule of thumb is to add 4 feet all the way around the table so people can walk behind those who are seated. This is one of the most often underestimated points in sizing a deck. Consider the size and shape of the table, along with the quantity of chairs. You’ll need more room than you think.
Will you be grilling on your deck? Leave plenty of extra space where the grill will be placed. You don’t want it too close to seating areas – the heat and risk of burns are important points to consider.
What about a lounge area for chairs and outdoor couches? Do you want room for both a table and lounging? There are so many choices for outdoor furniture, this is a critical factor in the size of deck you’re considering. Here’s a great idea: If you know the size of your deck furniture, or already have some, plot out your space on the ground with wooden stakes and string. This will give you a very good idea of how much space you’ll need!
Step 2: What type of materials will fit your lifestyle and budget?
Tight budget? Budget not a factor? Either way, budget is critical in picking the material you want to use. The structure, or the “bones” of the deck, will be built with conventional treated lumber. The part you will see, touch, and walk on is where the cost factor and preference come into play.
You have two choices:
- Real wood decking, using treated lumber (most economical) or cedar.
- Composite decking which mimics the look of natural wood, but is more durable and requires much less maintenance. Cleaning is about all you’ll need to do; there will be no scraping or restaining.
Big C Lumber can easily give you an estimate for both materials. While composite is more expensive up front, think about the maintenance you’ll be avoiding! After all, wouldn’t you really rather spend time enjoying your deck – rather than maintaining it?
Step 3: What extras or finishing touches do you want for your deck?
When building your deck, think about those little extra touches that will make your deck stand out. You don’t need to do it all at once but when planning the design and layout you’ll want to factor in these ideas:
- Trim and railings
- Lattice skirting
- Plants and planters
- Deck box for storage
- Placement of wireless speakers
Your deck project should be what’s right for you and your family. It should be functional, and above all else SAFE. Don’t take on a project like this without consulting a qualified contractor.
At Big C Lumber, we are a nearly 100-year-old, fourth generation company. Our sales staff is ready and excited to work with you on what type of deck fits your budget and lifestyle. We offer free estimates and will include pricing on all the material you’ll need, right down to the fasteners to put it all together!
And, we offer curbside delivery at NO EXTRA CHARGE! If the material is in stock, we usually deliver the same day. Ask the big box stores if they can do that!
Contact Big C Lumber today, and let’s start planning your new outdoor retreat!