During the warm months, the backyard will be a focal point of your property. Without a doubt, you will spend as much time as you can outside, relaxing or playing with your kids. This is true for every single person, which is why people start thinking about different ways to improve this space.
One of the many things you can do is build a deck. Can you just picture adding this area to your property? You will have a place to sit and unwind, or you will be able to plan gatherings with your friends, prepare meals, etc. Yes, doing this is a large project, so here are some tips you can use.
1. Should you hire a professional?
This is probably the first question that comes to your mind. Experts will complete this job in no time. Plus, they understand each aspect of the process fully, so the chances of something going wrong are quite slim.
On the other note, yes, you can build a deck on your own if you have master handiness and woodworking skills. However, keep in mind that this project requires a lot of time and effort, so you will have to persistent to complete it in a short period of time.
2. Inspect the area
The very first thing you have to do is inspect the area of the yard where you want to build a deck. Naturally, this will help you understand the appropriate size of it, as well as the shape. However, you cannot forget about investigating the soil. What are we talking about?
For example, if you live in a cold region, frost heave should be your main concern. If this is the case, you should build the base 4 or 5 feet below the ground to ensure that the soil doesn’t freeze and then shifts your deck.
Similarly, if you have to build it on clay, you will have to come up with a new plan. As you know, clay expands or shrinks depending on the moisture, that is, depending on the rainfall. It means that cold winters aren’t your only problem. You have to ensure that the structure will be safe during the rainy seasons as well.
3. How to choose the material?
The next thing you have to do is to think about the decking material you will use. Your two main choices are wood and composite boards. When it comes to the former, the two most popular choices are cedar and red cedar. Both of these are completely natural and can last for a long time, but keep in mind that these can be quite expensive, especially the latter one.
On the other hand, you can always go with composite decking. Two of its main features are durability and low maintenance. Since these boards are made of recycled plastic and only made to look like wood, you won’t face easy issues like material deteriorating and rotting.
See more about it at https://decksforlife.ca/
4. How to protect the deck?
If you have chosen to use wood as decking material, you have to finish it with a protective coat. Otherwise, it will quickly crack and splinter, so you may have to remodel it. Obviously, this is the last thing you want, so you have to prevent this from happening.
Once again, you have a choice –paint or stain. As it is to be expected, both of these options have a set of advantages and disadvantages, so you should research them before making the final decision. For example, if you want to go with something that will provide you with a natural look, you should choose staining since it doesn’t cover the wood but only enhances its beauty. On the other hand, if you want to create a unique design, paint is a better choice simply because you can choose between numerous colors. Furthermore, if you are just redecorating your old deck that has been stretched, you should go with paint because it can easily mask all the flaws.
The main difference between these two options is that paint traps moisture, which will eventually reach the wood and destroy it. Nevertheless, this is not the case with a deck stain, which penetrates into the boards and protects the grains.
Finally, when it comes to durability, a fresh coat of paint can last up to a decade, while you would have to stain the deck every year for the best results. You should consult the weather forecast and choose a sunny day to do this since these need some time to dry completely. Naturally, this choice comes down to your personal preference, so investigate all the features and decide which one better works for you.
5. How to maintain it?
Have you managed to build a great-looking deck on your own? Good for you, but keep in mind that your job is not yet now. The last thing you have to learn is how to properly maintain it to prolong its life and. obviously, its aesthetic appearance.
It goes without saying that the first step is to move all the furniture, plants, and other items from the area, remove the dirt and debris with a broom and clean the space between the boards.
When it comes to choosing the cleaning product, you have to take the decking material into consideration. If it is wooden, you can use a common cleaning solution. Nevertheless, make sure to read the instructions carefully because some solutions should be used on a wet surface, while others will be effective only if the surface is wet.
Lastly, if you have installed composite boards, it is crucial to use a solution that is specifically designed for this material. Don’t forget that it is essentially made out of plastic, so you have to make sure that the cleaning product won’t damage it.
Even though it is not necessary, you should choose a cloudy day to complete this chore. Why? Well, the solution won’t evaporate in the heat, so it will be more efficient.