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Relax and Entertain on your Ultimate Wood Deck

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By : Rob Thomson    99 or more times read
There is nothing better than taking a cold drink out to your new wood deck, putting on your sunglasses and kicking back for a day of relaxation, either on your own or with family and friends. Of course, for people who live in the northern parts of the country, this is a seasonal bit of recreation, unless you like to sit outside on a crisp, sunny winter day.

In any case, building a wood deck not only adds additional living space, it also increases your home's value in today's competitive market. The cost of adding a wood deck can be minimal or it can be a significant investment in your house, depending on how big the deck will be, and what type of wood you want to use.

Typically, decks are constructed with decay resistant woods, including cedar, redwood and cypress. Bamboo is another type of wood that has recently gained popularity for building wood decks. Similar to the other products in terms of durability, bamboo is termite resistant, LEED qualified and is a green product. It has also been weather tested and is comparable in price to other decking choices.

There are a few decisions to consider before you rush off to the home improvement store to buy lumber:

  • What size deck boards do you want to use?

  • Do you want a deck that is attached to the house or freestanding?

  • Are railings required? If so, will they also be wood?

  • Will you have to add a new door for access to the deck?

  • How much weight will typically be on the deck? (considerations for number of posts, beams and joists)

  • Will the hot sun make the chosen deck materials too hot to walk on?

A number of home improvement books on the market specifically target deck building techniques and tips. Television shows also run segments that feature the latest in trends to create the ultimate entertaining area with a new wood deck.

Permits first equal no do-over

One critical part of building a deck is getting a permit from local authorities, if required in your area. Building inspectors will check to see if you are following the plan as stated, and to check for other items to ensure your deck is safe for everyone to use. More importantly, some homeowner insurance policies will not cover accidents if the construction did not clear local building codes.

Many stories can be found of people having to completely dismantle their hard work and start over, simply because they did not take the time to apply for a permit, or want to pay the small fee for the privilege of adding a deck to their home.
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