Does Your Property Need a Deck?

A deck adds so much to your home: as an outside living space, it offers so much in relaxation and entertainment opportunities. A deck increases the enjoyment of your home exponentially, and the value of your home quite reasonably. So a deck is just as much a financial investment as it is one of personal comfort.


The ‘why’ is important

A deck adds living space without adding a lot to maintenance and utility costs, which makes it ideal for families who want to stretch out a bit but don’t want to move. A deck can be a useful addition to the area along a pool, hot tub, or other water feature. It can also serve as a freestanding porch or patio area. Some homes have multiple decks.

But, a great contractor will ask what the family plans to do on the deck during the design process. Intended usage offers a guide on which shape, style, and amenities will work best. A family who intends to have private family pool fun will have different needs than one which wants to use their deck for big parties or patio gardening.

Some sensible limitations

Some creative folks think, “I can add a deck to my second story and it will give me a cover for the patio beneath it!” But, slow down, pardner--there are some considerations to keep in mind. First, to avoid needing a permit, it has to be less than 30 inches from the ground, freestanding, and under 200 square feet. Sensibly, you don’t want a deck which is building-dependent anyway. Like anything that sticks out too much, it would have the propensity for not only causing building damage but also the possibility of collapse.


Lighting is a crucial element and one which we’ll address further in another blog. Suffice to say that much of the safety and ambiance of a deck is created or failed by lighting, depending on the style, type, and placement.


The pattern of the boards will make a difference in the look and feel of the deck. It can also contribute to the cost, so it’s worth exploring pattern options during the initial selection of the type of material preferred.

Maintenance and care

The other thing about having a deck is that maintaining the structure is critical; sunshine, rain, pool water and wear all take their toll on the wood. So, unless it’s composed of synthetic materials, it will have to be waterproofed and then periodically refinished with a sealant, paint, stain, or something else to protect it. At the very least, it will have to be scrubbed down once in a while. Because, once a deck is built, it will be a place of fun and enjoyment for years.

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