There are a lot of different types of backyard decks being built across the country today, from simple platforms to sprawling, multi-tiered installations that include features like built-in fire pits and outdoor kitchens. But no matter what the design may be, these decks all have one thing in common: It’s far better to get them done right the first time, without making critical mistakes. When a builder makes mistakes during the planning or installation process, addressing the problems that result can be tricky and costly.
When you set out to build a deck (or more likely, to have one built for you by a professional), you want to be sure that costly mistakes don’t sneak up on you, and make the project more complicated than it has to be. Perhaps the best way to do this is to deal only with qualified and reputable deck builders. This is the kind of professional who has built countless decks, and can rely on a wealth of experience to make sure that no corners are cut, and that the job gets done correctly and efficiently. If you built a deck yourself, or use a shady contractor, your project is more likely to suffer from one or more of the following 4 common mistakes.
1. Not getting the right permits
This is a rookie mistake, and the consequences can be frustrating to say the least. The exact regulations and permits required to build a backyard deck will vary from state to state, and knowing what regulations apply to your project – before you start building – is crucial. Failing to secure the proper permits can result in hefty fines. Furthermore, you’ll probably have to modify the work you’ve already done. In some extreme cases, the deck has to be torn down and re-built according to the code. All of this gets very expensive and very time consuming. A seasoned contractor knows exactly what the rules are, and will secure the permits for your project, with everything guaranteed in writing.
2. Not using the correct fasteners
It would be very difficult to assemble a functional backyard deck without using the correct fasteners, including screws and hangers. These are vital components of any outdoor deck. But people (even some contractors) use the wrong ones, try to substitute similar fasteners, or use low quality fasteners during a deck project. Everything may look wonderful at first, but shortcuts and mistakes involving fasteners will come back to haunt your backyard deck!
3. Leaving metal fragments on the deck
Tiny metal fragments can eventually lead to dark stains on the deck’s surface. This is a mistake than can occur during the building process, as drilling and grinding are taking place around the deck. It can also happen years after the deck has been built. To avoid this problem, make sure you don’t drill or grind metal on or around the deck. Also, sweep your deck clean regularly in order to remove any potential stains before they happen.
4. Not installing the floorboards evenly
Crooked floorboards are a highly noticeable and annoying mistake that happens more often than you might think. In some cases, the backyard deck will be structurally sound, and the problem will be purely aesthetic. In other cases, both the structural integrity and the aesthetic value of the deck will be compromised by uneven floorboard installation.
Contact a reputable outdoor deck builder in your area for more information on how to avoid common mistakes, and come away with the professional result you want!