Decks offer a great way to extend your living and entertainment spaces to the great outdoors. A well-built deck adds beauty, utility, and value to your home. When building a new deck, you should avoid making common mistakes, according to the top deck builder in Woodbridge VA. Let’s look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1 Choosing the Wrong Materials
Selecting the wrong materials for your new deck can be a costly mistake. The deck sits outside your home and needs to endure sun, rain, snow and ice. If the material you select can’t withstand the elements, the deck is going to deteriorate quickly. That means you need to make costly repairs soon after installation.
The least costly material for decks is pressure-treated lumber. You can also go with composite decking that combines wood and plastic for a more durable material. It’s more expensive than pressure-treated lumber, but it also lasts a lot longer.
#2 Not Sealing Wood
When you choose pressure-treated lumber for your deck, it’s important to seal it quickly. Unsealed wood will start to deteriorate quickly. It weathers faster, leaving the surface looking old in just a few months. As the wood deteriorates, water can infiltrate, causing the wood to swell and warp. It will eventually split and splinter.
Your deck builder in Woodbridge VA should seal the deck within a few weeks of installation. Make sure this step is part of the contracted work.
#3 Not Properly Installing Hardware
Today, contractors use a variety of hardware pieces when constructing decks. Joist hangers, angle brackets, and post fasteners are just a few of them. Contractors also use nails or screws to fasten deck boards to the frame below. All hardware used on the deck should be made from a corrosion resistant material.
The hardware must be properly installed to ensure the deck remains strong. When hiring a deck contractor, ask what type of fasteners they prefer. During construction, take time to inspect the work done to verify they are installed properly.
#4 Using the Wrong Rail Height or Excluding Rails Entirely
Decks above a certain height must have rails installed. However, contractors often recommend installing rails on all decks. They provide a secure barrier to prevent falls. They define the area visually, creating the effect of an outdoor room.
A common mistake is installing handrails at the wrong height. Most building codes require a minimum height to prevent people from toppling over. Some homeowners, however, don’t follow the code and install the rail at a lower height. This can lead to accidents for both adults and children.
#5 Installing Inadequate Footers
Decks need heavy-duty support. The weight of the wood and fasteners can easily be several hundred pounds. Then, you add on the weight of patio furniture and cooking equipment. On the days you use the deck for entertaining, you could have several people on top, which adds even more weight.
The footings under the deck posts are critical for safely bearing this weight. Using inadequate footers can lead to a full or partial deck collapse. Contact us; a deck builder in Woodbridge VA to handle the installation to ensure this doesn’t happen.
The easiest way to avoid making these mistakes is to have a professional deck contractor handle the build and installation. Contact MidAtlantic Contracting today. We are the leading deck builder in Woodbridge VA and throughout Northern Virginia.