10 Things to Consider Before Building a Deck


If building a deck is high on your home reno to-do list, we’ve got just the post for you! From choosing the right material, to deciding on deck placement, and making sure your deck is safe and supported, here are 10 things to consider before building a deck.

1. Why Do You Want a Deck?

This may seem simple, but ask yourself why you’re building a deck. What will be its main purpose and function? Do you want to extend your indoor living space? Will you use it to entertain in the warmer months? Or perhaps you want more privacy or will use it to grow a patio garden close to the house. Knowing its function beforehand will ensure you get the most use out of your deck!

2. What Materials Will You Use?

Wood is historically the most popular choice for building a deck, but it’s not your only option. Looking into alternatives such as weather-resistant wood like redwood and cedar; treated lumber; hardwoods; composite decking; and alternatives like plastic and aluminum.

3. Where Do You Want Your Deck?

The location of your deck is also important. If you have a small yard, your options for placement are likely limited and you’ll have to build your deck in the space available. If you have a bigger outdoor space, you can consider attaching it to a back door, a second story, or you may choose a freestanding deck in your yard.

4. What’s Your Budget?

Make sure to know your budget before going all in with your deck project. Factor in aspects such as the size of the deck, materials used, intricacy of the design, and who will build it – you or a contractor?

5. Do You Need a Permit?

Check out your local building codes to find out if you need a permit to build a deck. You may need one if your deck is over a particular height or size, so make sure to get one if you need it. You also want to make sure your deck is safe and secure!

6. What Size and Shape Do You Want for Your Deck?

The size of your deck will be determined by the size of your yard as well as your budget. As for the shape, make sure it compliments the rest of your house design. A well-designed deck should enhance the beauty of your home and coordinate with the surrounding landscape.

7. Will You Include Any Extras?

Determine whether you’ll need any extras for your deck. Extras include railings for higher decks; a roof if your deck location is hot most of the day; or a privacy screening if you’re able to see into your neighbour’s yard, or them into yours.

8. How Will You Incorporate Storage and Seating?

Two main functions of a deck are storage and seating, so how will you incorporate them? For storage, you might consider lift-top benches or a storage closet to hold things like garden tools, outdoor patio cushions and outdoor childrens toys. And if you plan to dine and entertain out on your deck, a table and seating is a must!

9. How Much Space Do You Need Between the Deck Boards?

Make sure to space your deck boards a good distance apart to account for weather and time that will make the boards expand. A good rule of thumb is placing them ⅛ inches apart.

10. What Finish Will You Use?

If you choose to go with a wood deck, you’ll need to apply a finish to maintain its look and function. You can purchase stains and sealers in a wide variety of colours and opacity options per your design, and make sure to apply it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Deck Building just got a whole lot easier! Use these tips to build a deck you love!