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Outdoor patios and decks are great summer projects. Imagine being able to come home from work, get a nice tall glass of something cold, and sit out on your deck or patio and enjoy the view. It isnít as difficult as you might think, and probably less expensive than you anticipated.
With all of the things that cloud our life these days, computers, electronic gadgets, television, and cellphones, to name a few, itís nice to create a place where quiet and beauty are the focus. It adds an escape that adds tranquility to an otherwise hectic lifestyle. You wonít know how you ever did without one once yoursí is built.
In this article, I will help you explore a few different options for this type of home improvement. Decks and patios add value to your home, so besides the enjoyment you will get from this add-on, you will also reap the benefits of adding monetary value to your property.
Before you tackle this project, you need to plan it well. Donít take the simple square deck approach. When most people think of a deck, they think of a flat, square platform on stilts. Todayís decks are much more than that. There are so many options, the planning stage will not only be the most important part of the project, but it will also be the most enjoyable.
Think of all of the activities your deck can be used for first. Sunbathing, cookouts and barbecues, entertaining guests, parties, and just relaxing and enjoying the view are some things that immediately come to mind. How much space will be required for you to get the full enjoyment out of your deck?
Are you going to place a hot tub out there? A barbecue grill? Patio furniture? Tables? An area for your favorite games and activities? An area closed off for your children? You will save a lot of money in the long run if you plan your deck for all the things you might use it for before you begin building it.
You can always add on to your deck later if your budget wonít allow you to build your dream deck all at one time. But if you have the option, do it right the first time. So make a list of what activities you want to have on your new deck. Draw out a rough sketch on paper that outlines the different areas you will be considering.
Consider the different possible shapes that would accommodate your different areas and that would enhance the beauty of both your deck and your home. Keep in mind, special shapes do require more work and possibly more expense. However, it might just be worth it so you have exactly the deck you want.
Once you have decided all of that, you will now need to attend to some details. First, of course is, will you be building it or will you be hiring a contractor? Next, what permits do you need from your city or county to build a deck attached to your home? What requirements come with those permits. Termite protection is one of the requirements in most places, for example.
If you are going to hire a contractor, they can most likely help you obtain all the necessary permits and they should already know what requirements will come into the process. If your contractor advises you not to go to the expense of obtaining a permit, tell them you wonít be needing their services. The headaches you will have down the road due to not having obtained the proper permits for building your deck are not worth the money you might save now.
Now you, or you and your contractor are going to have to decide on the materials your deck will be made of. Some are made of just treated lumber, others are made of redwood, still others are made of cedar or a variety of other woods.
The region you live in and your climate will probably have a lot to do with your choices. You want something that will last. If you choose the cheapest lumber, you have a cheap deck. You get what you pay for, so choosing the type of wood your deck will be built from is an important choice.
If you are going to build your deck yourself, you will still need permits and there are a lot of how to guides out there that can help you with each stage of the process.
Building it yourself will give you an enormous sense of pride and even more enjoyment knowing you built it. However, it requires skills you may not have. I donít advise you to build your own deck if you are not familiar with building and carpentry in general.
I hope this article has helped you learn at least the basics of getting your deck project going. A beautiful deck is one of the greatest additions you will ever have for your home. Enjoy your new deck!
About The Author
D. David Dugan has a website, http://homeimprovement.divinfo.com to help homeowners find all the information they need about remodeling, home repair, building decks and carports, room additions, and more. He also actively participates in an article directory at http://www.articlemotron.com that has current and up to date information on many topics
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