A deck is not just an extension of the indoor flooring area; it’s a place to entertain, eat al fresco, or simply sit back and relax. Adding a deck living space can also add value to your home.

They’re also highly versatile: decks can be built at ground level, or you can have raised decks on uneven ground. You can even add extra features like fire pits or parasols. With so many options available, you might not know where to start. Below, we’ve got a guide on how to build your very own custom deck, from planning and budgeting to hiring a contractor.

Factors to Consider

Deck maintenance

1. The Purpose of Adding a Deck

You want to get the most out of your outdoor space, so decide what you want to use it for, whether it’s for cooking, gardening, relaxing, or all three. Pizza ovens and built-in appliances are excellent for creating outdoor kitchens, while lights and outdoor seating help create a cozy ambiance.

2. Make a Budget

When planning any project, it can be easy to lose track of expenses. The cost of materials can quickly add up, leaving you with an unexpected bill at the end. Finance options vary, but if you’d rather not use a credit card or savings, a personal loan (with a fixed rate and flexible repayment) might be more affordable, so long as you are prepared to repay it. When budgeting for your new deck you may also need to consider:

  • Additional insurance costs: Before building, contact your insurance agent to see if your deck is covered by your homeowner’s policy. Once you have a certificate of occupancy (following completion), you will need to inform your provider of the total cost of construction so your home insurance can be amended accordingly.
  • Cost of materials: These might include details such as seating and timber.
  • Size: You may need to adjust your budget depending on how large or small your deck is.

Adding a Deck to Your Home

According to the IRS, any home improvement that creates added value to your home will increase your property taxes, depending on your location and the value of your deck, so when budgeting, check with your local tax assessor first for estimated costs. When budgeting for a project it’s also wise to plan for the unexpected and build a “buffer” in to cover any extras.

3. Location

Consider where your deck is to be placed, as this affects the ease of access as well as privacy options. It will also affect the view you have, especially if you are considering fixed seating. Another consideration concerns weather conditions such as shade and rain or wind exposure, depending on where you live.

Adding a Deck to Your Home

4. Hiring a Contractor

If you have some experience in building decks and you feel confident that you can complete the job yourself, this is an option. If you need new tools it can create additional expense – plus learning about building codes or construction methods can be time-consuming.

It may be better overall to hire a licensed contractor who can take care of the fine details while you have the reassurance that the job will be completed to a professional standard.

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