Planning to Make Some Home Improvements?
Four Mistakes To Avoid When Preparing to Build a Deck.
1. Neglecting to get a permit
Most areas in Washington require a permit if you plan to add on to your house. This general overview can help avoid all sorts of costly and dangerous mistakes. In order to get a permit
you'll need to provide drawings and specifications of your proposed deck. These drawings don't need to be professional; you can draw them yourself. Details such as the location of the deck, railing
and foundation information, size of joists and posts, and type of wood being used are examples of the type of information that should be included. Building Inspectors then confirm if your deck plans
meet local standards. During the permit process on-site inspections will be performed throughout construction to insure your deck is being built according to code. Contact your local permitting
office for details specific to your community.
2. Improper planning
When thinking about building your deck it's important to consider things like size, shelter and seating. If your deck is too big and takes up the entire yard your resale value won't be as high. To
make the space more useable during the entire year create some shelter from the sun or rain. If you don't want to loose the openness of the space, maybe think of using a canopy or awning. That way it
can be retracted when you don't need it. Most people use patio sets and folding chairs for seating which is great. But think creatively! Built-in seating requires less maintenance and benches with
hinged tops are great storage solutions.
3. Poor material selection
All deck materials should be chosen according to how well they resist decay and rust. When choosing nails, bolts, screws and metal fasteners use galvanized, aluminum or stainless steel because they
will not rust. Use decay resistant woods like redwood, cedar or cypress. Even if you're on a budget, don't be tempted to use cheap materials; you can find high quality inexpensive materials and save
money by doing some of the work yourself. If you use products that are cheap in price and in quality, you'll have to rebuild in just a few years, because the quality of your deck will have
deteriorated and may be deemed unsafe.
4. Not calling Washington 811
Because of the depth the support posts require as well as the close proximity to your house or other structures you could be in danger of hitting underground utility lines (click "What's
Under Your Lawn") when you dig. That's why it's crucial to call 811 or click (to complete the process online) Go
to: www.callbeforeyoudig.org and
click your state, then click "Homeowner". Since the depth of utility lines varies, there may be multiple utility lines in the area where you want to dig. That's why every digging project
requires a call. You may think, “I already know where the utility lines are located or this particular project is not in an area that needs marking.” Those are dangerous assumptions. One easy phone
call to 811 gets your underground utility lines marked for free.
More Expert Tips Coming Soon!
How to plant a tree
How to install a fence