People build wood decks for all kinds of reasons. Some just want another defined space, while others are looking to eliminate some of their yard maintenance, and then there are those who just want to extend their outdoor space.
But what ever the reason you have to build a deck, you want that deck or patio to look beautiful and last as long as possible. So here’s some tips that we’ve learned along the way that can save you a lot of money down the road. I say down the road because you would not believe how many jobs we get repairing decks that were not constructed properly from get go.
Point being, do it right the first time and you’ll not be calling some one like us to come in and fix things that should have never happened. So here are some of our basic patio and deck tips that could save you headaches and a lot of money in the future.
1. Make sure you have planned ahead to have proper drainage. What we mean about this is make sure you’re deck is designed to have water run off it and around it. You don’t want water to be sitting anywhere, ever. Water is the number one reason for the early demise of a wood deck, so plan ahead and you will extend the life of your deck, not to mention the beauty of it, immensely.
2. Make sure when the deck is built, that the supporting structure is looked at and any places where water can get to and possibly collect are seriously water proofed. What we’re talking about here are the parts that you can’t see, but are the support for your deck. Water gets down there and sits and soon starts to rot the wood, and once the rot starts it’s the beginning of the end of your deck. So look for places on the support structure where water may collect and before you put on the decking, water proof with a heavy duty product. This can cost a couple of bucks more up front but will extend the life of your deck by decades.
3. Here’s something a lot of people may not know about, and it does cost a little more, it’s a technique that attaches the deck boards to the support structure from below. Instead of screwing down the boards from above you will be pulling them down from below. What this does first is create a clean screw less look for your deck. What it does secondly is eliminate any opportunities for water to get in and around the screw to start the wood rotting process. We love this technique, but sometimes it’s not realistic, so in that case if you need to attach the boards from the top, at least use stainless steel screws.
Well there you go, our three key tips we always plan for to insure a long lasting deck. Of course a yearly wood treatment is a good habit and should not be ignored, but all in all if you build it right in the first place your deck or patio will look great and last a long, long time.
The Crew at Aim Higher / General Construction Los Angeles