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Are you Adding a Deck?

A deck is described as a wooden platform constructed above ground level and is connected to the main part of the house. It is usually surrounded by railings for the safety of the occupants. To access the deck, one must pass through the doors located in the main house or by stairs from the grounds. To control the flood of sunlight, decks may be covered by canopies or light roofing.

A homeowner who is considering improving his home may decide on building a deck that extends outdoors. Decks are considered to be a good investment for the house, it will generally raise its overall value. It will also improve the home aesthetically. Choices available for deck improvement and construction have risen considerably since more and more homeowners are getting interested in building decks for their homes.

There are several factors to consider in building house decks. Some of them are:

1. Location of the deck in the house

Spaces for decks should be designed like a regular room. The parameter of the deck should be kept out of the windows by at least two feet. If the house is located in the country where snowfall occurs, it is best to decrease the elevation of the deck from the threshold of the door. Decks should be built lower than these following problem areas: windows located below the deck, water spigots, down spouts and dryer vents. Doing so will save homeowners a lot of money.

Ideally, the realtor should include a copy of the site or plan of the house to the homeowner upon purchase, because it will be needed when he decides to build extensions on the main house. The plan will show details where not to build in excess of specific parameters of the building.

In laying down the layout of the deck, it is necessary to consider that almost all decks are not in symmetry to the back part of the house.

2. Main use for the deck and the amount of room needed

Most homeowners utilize their decks for entertaining or dining outside. Nowadays, additions such as outdoor kitchens, hot tubs, Jacuzzis and gazebos are becoming popular choices. Screening the whole area might be suited for health conscious occupants.

3. Specific area where the dining will be held

Usually, a slight elevation or an octagon is built on the deck to keep the dining table off the main floor.

4. Need of the homeowners for privacy from neighbors and the main street

Walls can be offered by the builders of the deck to afford homeowners a feeling of privacy, These walls should be limited to the sides of the decks so they won't feel too caged in.

5. Means to get on and off the deck area

The most likely area where one can enter the deck will be the side of house that is used to access the backyard. Entrances should be kept near the house itself to save space. There are certain regulations from the local building department when it comes to building stairs. A midway landing should be considered if there is a second story deck, in order to prevent injuries.

6. Placement of the grill

Grills should be placed near the kitchen door but not right next to the house itself. To save homeowners from frequent propane tank refills, a gas line under the deck should be installed permanently. The builder should then save a space for food preparation.

7. Need for shade

An awning that is custom-made can be installed over the deck to provide shade, but for homeowners on a budget, an arbor or Pergola can be built on the design of the deck. For total coverage, one should consider putting up roof over the deck, or have screens installed.

8. Preference for railings

In most areas in the U.S., any deck that is higher than 18" off the ground requires railing. A composite plastic lumber is recommended for those who prefer to have a seating constructed into the deck design. Doing this will prevent the warping and splintering that usually occurs after a long period of time.

All homeowners would like to have a picture-perfect house that will provide safety and comfort for their families. Building decks are a great way to beautify and add value to the home.

About the Author: The above article was written by Sarah Miller on behalf of, a buzzing online homeowner and contractor community which allows homeowners to find the right contractor for their home improvement projects! Also check out the QuoteCity Blog for more related home improvement articles and resources at

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