However, the need or desire to build the deck yourself is not one that should be taken lightly, this should not be your first timber project. The task at hand is really one that should be handled by someone with a bit of experience. Building a deck has to be done with precision and strength in mind, it also needs to fit into the theme of the house and landscape. A deck is often the transition between the house and the garden, so the proper access regulations have to be considered, levels and materials are very important. It is with no doubt that building a deck properly adds value, but a poorly constructed one is dangerous and devalues your property.
So well I am all for having a go and doing things yourself I am at the same time preparing you with the knowledge that it’s a task that you will need to do some homework for and possibly attempt some smaller projects and build your carpentry skills before taking this on. As far as the tools you will need to build a project like this then refer to the Tools for Timber Projects post in the Landscape equipment and tools section.
So if you are considering building a deck, you must check with your local Governing body for the regulations and requirements, these will vary somewhat depending on where you live so it’s necessary to find out. It will be necessary if the deck is attached to the house, not to be mistaken with decks or timber platforms constructed around your yard that are not very high. But check on the height limit in your area in case you need an application for them too. If your construction needs their approval then you will need to submit a plan, pay a fee and have certain inspections or your work before you can proceed onto the next stage.
The hand rail around the deck is just as important to the safety as well as the look, this should be constructed and fixed to the actual frame when building your deck and not just added on after, the same applies to any roofing or covering of the deck, it has to be considered right from the planning stage so the frame can all fit together well.
Where you want your deck is important especially if you are fairly high, support for your deck will certainly be more critical if this is the case. Wind underneath the deck can cause havoc if not braced properly and will not give you the confidence when on the deck if it’s moving. If your deck is going to be built high off the ground then please seek some professional advice before starting. Get the plan drawn up for each stage and discuss the whole aspect of building, you might find a professional that will be willing to work with you, for a fee of course, but you’ll be able to learn a lot from them and get the deck built at the same time.
Please don’t be discouraged from taking on a project such as building a deck, I am just outlining the importance to consider all the aspects and to always work to your skill level or get help.
All the best with your landscaping projects.