Are you building a new deck? Building a new deck is a great way to expand the functionality that your home gets, while increasing the square footage of usable space. Not to mention, building a new deck gives your home a serious “WOW” factor among potential home buyers if you decide to sell down the road.
However, building a new deck can also turn into a giant pain in the you-know-what if you make one of the common mistakes that we’re about to tell you about:
Three Big Mistakes People Making While Building a New Deck
- MISTAKE: Hiring the wrong deck contractor.
Even if you use the best and most expensive materials available for your new deck, if you hire a contractor who isn’t experienced, there are a lot of mistakes they can make that you’ll end up regretting. Yes, we know your hair stylist’s cousin’s so-and-so does handiman work on the side and would be willing to do your deck contruction on the extra cheap, but if you have to tear the whole thing down and redo it, you really aren’t saving any money anyways.
When you are looking for a deck contractor, do your research. Read reviews from other clients online. Some people will complain about anyone, but if you see the same theme in the reviews over and over, it’s a sign that you should steer clear.
You should also check up on the contractor’s certification. As with any construction related jobs, like window installers, tiling experts, and fence contractors, deck builders must be licensed and insured to work in an official capacity. If they do not have this paperwork in order, you have no where to turn if the contractor royally screws up your deck or your home, or takes your money and hits the road jack.
- MISTAKE: Using cheap deck materials.
Help us help you: use the proper tools and materials while building your deck. Yes, you could save a small amount by using cheap quality material, but within a year or two, you’ll have a giant heap of unstable, rotting and rusting wood where your deck used to be.
While choosing the material for your deck, you typically can choose between composite or wood materials (there are extensive sub-categories within these two options, but we don’t have the space to go over that here). Composite costs a little bit more, but we like to use it on our deck jobs. When you use composite material for your deck, it is less vulnerable to rotting, staining and scratching.
And we’ll throw this in for free: Always use screws that were intended for decks when you build it. You don’t want to save yourself $10 or so with cheap screws that aren’t stable enough to support the structure of a deck, or that rust and corrode. Then you’re pretty much screwed. (Sorry for the pun, we couldn’t help ourselves.)
- MISTAKE: Not paying attention to maintenance.
There are a few reasons why you should pay attention to maintenance requirements before you ever build your deck. First of all, this plays a huge part in the decisions you make about the entire deck. Do you want to just construct it and never touch it again? Are you okay with applying a sealer every few years?
Second of all, imagine you’re building a fence. A fence might be one of the first things that you notice about a home when you pull up to it. When you build a nice, shiny fence, you pull up to the home and say, “Wow, what a well kept and lovely home!” and everything else about the home looks a little shinier and nicer. However, over time, the fence wears out, and some of the panels look like they’re rotting a bit, maybe a panel is missing. Now, that new fence does the exact opposite. You pull up the home and say, “Who, what a dilapidated and worn-out home!” and everything else looks a little more rundown and gross. Your deck has the same impact. If you maintain it, it will have a striking impact on the look and feel of the entire home. If you don’t, it will make everything feel run down. Understand the maintenance requirements up front, and commit to them.
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