How to Avoid These 7 Common Mistakes When Building a Deck

If you found this article because you searched for “deck building mistakes,” you definitely aren’t alone in wondering how to avoid mishaps while undertaking a do-it-yourself project.

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How to Avoid Mistakes When Building a Deck

Wouldn’t it be great if every time you attempted a DIY you found on Youtube, it turned out as good as the original? If that’s how life worked, there would be no need to hire experts for any reason!

But in our reality, life isn’t a fairytale, and we don’t have fairy godmothers and magical powers to master every pursuit perfectly. There will always be people searching for videos or articles on how to do things and experts sharing their knowledge.

So even if you’ve just randomly stumbled here (welcome, by the way), you’ve definitely come to the right place if you’re building a deck. Deck Guardian, NJ best deck builders, will share with you the best ways to avoid common deck-building mistakes. So you can build a deck like a total pro!

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NJ Deck Builders Guide on How to Avoid Mistakes When Building a Deck

Building a deck is a very detail-oriented, time-consuming, and demanding job. So mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, especially if you don’t build decks every day.

The professionals at Deck Guardian (who do build decks every day) want to avoid those mistakes, so they don’t happen in the first place. So let’s get to it! Here are some things you can do to prevent common deck-building mistakes.

  1. Familiarize Yourself with Building and Safety Codes to Avoid Deck Building Mistakes
  2. If you are building a deck, you can’t just buy some wood and fasteners, then slap it together and call it a day. A deck is considered a vital structure that adds to the structural composition of the house or building it is attached to. Similar to other structures, decks are constructed to bear weight. So it is imperative that it is put together using proper deck-building techniques.

    To guarantee these proper deck-building techniques are utilized, the state has implemented building and safety codes to ensure standards are met. As a homeowner, you should want to build a structurally sound deck so your family, pets, and friends can use the space safely.

    Many deck building mistakes happen because a novice builder didn’t use proper deck-building techniques to meet building and safety codes. This is one of the reasons that hiring expert NJ best deck builders will guarantee safety steps aren’t overlooked.

  3. Building a Deck in New Jersey? Don’t Forget Your Permit
  4. Along with following building and safety codes when building a deck, you need to make sure you have applied for the proper permit as well. A permit must pass through the city or county you live in to ensure the plans for your deck meet zoning requirements.

    Depending on the complexity of your deck, a structural engineer may need to be involved in the process. Common deck-building mistakes involve people building decks without getting a permit first. You may think, “Who’s going to know? It’s my yard, my business.” While that may be true, if you ever attempt to sell your house, that decision can come back and bite you.

    Another reason to hire professional deck builders like those at Deck Guardian is because they know the codes like the back of their hand and they understand all the requirements needed to get permits.

    NJ best deck builders will build you a proper deck that is safe and sturdy. There is no need to worry about any deck building mistakes when experts at Deck Guardian are hired to build your deck.

  5. Avoid these Common Deck Building Mistakes by Being Aware of the Amount of Time it Takes to Build a Deck
  6. Additional common deck building mistakes is underestimating the time it will take to build a structurally sound deck. If you think inviting some buddies over to help with your deck on a Saturday afternoon will be enough time to get a deck built…you couldn’t be more wrong.

    Building a deck with proper deck-building techniques can take approximately 1-3 weeks depending on the complexity of the deck. If you have a straightforward, simple design and use proper deck-building techniques, you could be closer to the 1-week mark.

    However, you also have to factor in the time it takes to have the permits, material delivery, and if you have any extras like railings, stairs, extending beams, etc to install. You are then looking at an even longer time span to build your deck.

    When working with a deck contractor from NJ best deck builders like Deck Guardian, you will always be presented with a timeline at the start of your deck-building project. To avoid common deck-building mistakes, professional deck-builders have excellent relationships with suppliers and can get material more readily. Deck contractors frequently deal with permits and understand the proper requirements in order to get one without any fuss. While the average person may be waiting weeks to get a permit or have it repeatedly denied because it hasn’t met the basic standards. NJ best deck builders can save you a lot of time. The time you don’t have when wanting to quickly build a deck so you can take advantage of it while the weather is nice.

  7. Not Understanding the Base Structure of a Deck is One of the Biggest Deck Building Mistakes
  8. If you’ve never built a deck before, understanding all the components of a deck are essential in putting together a solid deck. Deck building mistakes happen when the builder doesn’t pay close enough attention to the foundation the deck is built on.

    Footings are an essential part of building a sturdy deck or patio. They help to spread the weight of your deck over a larger surface area. Footings are usually made of concrete that has been poured into holes dug deep into the ground.

    Because of our New Jersey winters, the footings need to be deeper than the frost line to stop the concrete from shifting as the ground freezes and then thaws. To avoid common deck-building mistakes, make sure your holes have been dug deep enough.

    Using proper support posts is another deck building mistake often made by newbies to deck building. The support posts are connected to the top of the footings using brackets. If incorrect brackets are used, it could mean ‘game over’ for your deck.

    Taller decks or decks built on a slope may require bracing in order to keep the supports from warping or buckling under the weight of the actual deck. The proper requirements are part of the building and safety codes so be sure to read through all the requirements to avoid these deck building mistakes.

    Another of the common deck-building mistakes happen when the strength of the substructure of your deck is overlooked or neglected. Using proper deck-building techniques when assembling the beams, blocking, and joists will help you keep a strong foundation for your deck to sit on, helping you avoid common deck-building mistakes in the process.

    It’s essential that you understand all the components of the deck and how they all work together to strengthen the structural integrity of your deck. To avoid deck building mistakes you must know your stuff and use proper deck-building techniques every step of the way.

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Use the Right Hardware to Avoid More Deck Building Mistakes

Building a deck on your own is a huge commitment, so don’t overlook one of the smallest components of a deck that has one of the biggest jobs. Using proper deck-building techniques requires using the right kind of hardware to keep your deck solid.

Deck hardware includes fasteners, screws, joist hangers, connectors, brackets, structural screws, lag screws, bolts, and connector nails. These materials are what hold the deck together to withstand gravity, wind, and seismic activity as well as weight and movement from the people using the deck, as well as patio furniture that sits on the deck.

Using the incorrect types of hardware can have disastrous effects causing major deck-building mistakes and possible deck collapse. Always consult with NJ best deck-builders to ensure you are using the right types of materials.

All hardware should also be galvanized in order to provide better protection against corrosion and rust to improve the lifespan of your deck. Not doing so is another of the common deck-building mistakes.

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Picking the Right Plank Material can Save you From Deck Building Mistakes

When it comes to picking plank material, it is really up to personal preference. You can go with traditional wood deck planks or the more modern composite boards. There are benefits to going with composite as they last longer and don’t succumb to elemental damage like wood planks.

When working with NJ best deck builders, they will go over your options with you. While wood material tends to be cheaper upfront, they will cost you more over the lifetime of your deck.

Wood planks require maintenance such as staining and weather-proofing, plus will require replacing if they rot, get moldy, or become infested with termites or other insects.

On the other hand, composite decking offers a better strength-to-weight ratio than traditional wood. It’s overall a superior product and will extend the life of your deck by decades!

If choosing a quality mineral-based, wood-plastic composite material, like the high-quality composite used by Deck Guardian, you can get the look of beautiful real wood without the maintenance requirements of the real stuff.

The pros at Deck Guardian prefer to use composite materials as they really improve the beauty and longevity of the decks they build. Although composite may be more costly upfront, if you look at the lifetime of your deck, they are less expensive and require less upkeep than traditional wood.

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If you are in Over Your Head, Call the Professionals to Avoid Deck Building Mistakes

At the end of the day, if you’d rather save yourself the time, effort, and headache of dealing with all the intricacies that come with using proper deck-building techniques to build a deck; call the professionals at Deck Guardian.

Building a deck isn’t easy, and we have years of experience and expertise under our belt. Not to mention all the right tricks and techniques of the trade. Using our skills to build your dream deck is our absolute pleasure! Give Deck Guardian a call or click the link to get a FREE estimate on your perfect, mistake-free deck!

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