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Deck Building

Multi level deck overhead view
Multi level deck and patio space
Deck with hot tub
Deck with awning extended
Hot tub with awning

Deck building - often thought of as a Do-It-Yourself project, can bring a great sense of accomplishment when the work is done...

...and for the homeowner who is reasonably comfortable working with tools, and who has the right tools, the deck building project can be a lot of fun to do.

As with so many other building and remodeling related projects, if the advance planning is done right, everything should go off without a hitch, and the end result should bring years of enjoyment.

After all, you can create...

  • A place to entertain friends and family.
  • A play space for the kids.
  • A place to hang out and relax after a long day at work.
  • A place to enjoy meals when the weather is good.
  • A place to enjoy the sunrise, or the sunset.

Or you can...

  • Set up your own private, outdoor bar.
  • Relax in the hot tub.

Sound good? Sure it does...

...but before you can begin, you have to take some time to plan.

  • Think about what you want to use the deck for.
  • How high will it be off the ground? Grade level? Two to three feet above grade? Second story level?
  • How many people do you expect to be on it at any one time.
  • Are you looking for low initial cost to build, with the possibility of more maintenance later on?
  • Are you willing to spend more money up front to build the deck in order to reduce maintenance later on?
  • Are you familiar with the local building codes?
  • Do you have the ability to produce the necessary drawings to obtain a building permit?
As a remodeling contractor, one of my first responsibilities when I meet with a prospective client, is to spend some time listening to all the goals that person wants their project to fulfill, try to envision what he or she sees in their imagination, and try to interpret those descriptions.

Past experience has shown time and again that initially, many people aren't really sure just what they want...

...and those who do, don't always have an idea of the work necessary to accomplish the required end results.

Here again, I want to stress the necessity for planning the project, down to the smallest details.

Especially when the goal is to build a new deck. In many cases, there's a lot more to be considered than what meets the eye.

After all, you don't want the deck to start sagging after a few years, or fall under an unusually heavy load. It's unfortunate, but these things do happen sometimes, and while it's not my intention to scare you, it's necessary to be aware of the reality of the situation.

  • Will the deck be attached to the house?
  • If so... How will it be attached?
  • Do you understand the need for proper flashing where the deck is attached to the house?
  • Do you know how big to build the supporting beam(s)?
  • Do you know how to properly size the floor joists so they will carry the design load?
  • Do you know how to properly brace the framing so the deck won't sag or vibrate under use?
  • Do you know where to place, and how deep to dig the footers?
  • Do you know what size the footers and supporting posts need to be?

Remember, proper planning is key to any successful deck project, and although there are times when some unforseen situation might arise, that's less likely to happen, and less likely to significantly impact the outcome of the project if the advanced planning has been done carefully.

Setting a realistic budget is another considertion. Though there are varying price levels for the different materials you might think about using, it's typically advisable not to skimp on quality, or load carrying capabilities. It may come back to haunt you later on.

If you're uncertain about the budget aspect and just what to consider as a target number, perhaps the most recent issue of Remodeling magazine's "Cost vs. Value" report might give you something to think about. The annual report uses set criteria for a variety of remodeling projects. The projects are then priced around the country, and the final values are adjusted according to location within the different regions.

Due to our proximity to the City of Cleveland, Ohio, if you are viewing this locally, you should be able to look at the report for the Cleveland area here for as long as it's available online. Outside the region, use this link, if you'd like to look at the report that most closely represents your area.

I'm happy to be able to say that typically and historically, Eran Building & Remodeling Co. has been able perform similar work in our areas of expertise for less than the stated costs due to careful planning, careful product recommendations, and working hard to keep our own overhead and costs at a reasonable level.

If you live within our service area, and would like assistance with your deck building project, please call (330) 678-5787, or use the form on our Contact page. I would be happy to speak with you about your project.

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