Deciding to build a deck on your property is often something of a no-brainer – the best properties in Toronto all seem to feature some beautiful type of deck design. Yet simply copying another property’s deck is usually a recipe for failure. A deck, if done well, should look and feel like an integral part of your space – not simply an add-on. Furthermore, it’s a place that you’ll be hoping to spend a decent amount of time and should, therefore, reflect your family’s tastes and the purpose for which it is being built. For these reasons, you might decide to carry out their own deck design before building it yourself.
What Do I Need to Consider When Coming Up with My Deck Design?
Regardless of your DIY skillset, coming up with any kind of building design can be fraught with complications – especially if you’ve never done it before. As with most projects, deck design has its own list of common problems and complications that can arise. In order to make sure you avoid these pitfalls, it’s worth your while learning about what could and can go wrong with your deck project. The best time to do that is before you start to make the designs, and that’s why we’re listing them here:
- Make Sure You Can Get Planning Permission – Sounds obvious, right? Yet still, every year perfectly good decks get torn up all over Toronto, simply because permission was never sought for their construction. If you don’t want to risk throwing thousands of dollars down the drain for nothing, make sure you get permission as soon as possible.
- Use Galvanized Steel – If you’re unused to working with outdoor structures, it’s easy to overlook this point. It might seem at first that any old steel fixings will do, but remember that these nails and screws will have to stand up to the elements all day, every day. Galvanized steel fixings have good protection from corrosion, unlike regular steel. Using fixing that aren’t galvanized means they can be damaged to the extent that your entire deck could be in need of serious repairs within a couple of years.
- Mark Out Where Your Boards Will Go – A common mistake of first-timers is that they try to lay out each board to be level and parallel with the one before it. Mark out where your boards should go before you start laying them, in order to avoid complications.
- Know the Location of Your Gas and Water Pipes – It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away at the planning stage. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s better to spend the time working them in and around your design, than having to make changes once the project is underway.
- Don’t Try to Scrimp on Timber – It’s tempting to try to keep costs down by opting for lower grade timber or softwoods instead of hardwood. While they might look great when you buy them, they are less likely to stand up to the wear and tear of a deck, and you could be looking at needing a replacement in as little as a couple of years.
If you approach your deck design as if you were building a full extension, or even a new structure, you should be fine. Trying to cut corners at any stage is simply asking for trouble. At the design stage, bear in mind the points listed here and you stand a much better chance of enjoying your new deck for a long time. Take your time and don’t try to rush – it’s worth it in the long run!