There are many benefits to having a deck in your backyard. Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that it provides a space for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors. A deck can be a great place to host parties or gatherings, and it can also be used as a makeshift patio.
Decks can also add value to your home. If you ever plan on selling your home, a deck can be a major selling point.
In order to reap all of the benefits that a deck has to offer, it is important to make sure that it is installed properly. Unfortunately, there are many people who make mistakes when installing their decks, which can lead to problems down the road.
Here are some of the most common deck installation mistakes that you should avoid:
1. Not Getting a Permit
One of the most common mistakes people make when installing a deck is not getting a permit. Depending on where you live, you may need a permit to build a deck. Failure to get a permit can result in fines or even having to tear down your deck.
For example, in the city of Toronto, you need a permit to build a deck if it is more than 10 square meters (107 square feet).
In addition to getting a permit, you may also need to follow certain building code requirements. These requirements vary from place to place, so it is important to do your research before you start building.
2. Not getting the right boards
If you want your deck to last, you need to make sure that you use the right type of lumber. Pressure-treated lumber is a good option for decks because it is treated with chemicals that help protect it from rot and insect damage.
Cedar and redwood are also good choices for deck boards because they are naturally resistant to rot and insect damage. Some decking boards are made from composite materials, which are also a good option. Plus, composite boards are often made from recycled materials, which is good for the environment.
Additionally, when you are choosing boards, it is important to think about the thickness and width of the boards. Thinner boards are less durable and more likely to warp or crack over time. Wider boards also tend to be more stable.
3. Not using flashing
Another common mistake people make when installing a deck is not using flashing. Flashing is a thin strip of metal or plastic that is used to seal the gaps between the decking and the house.
If you don’t use flashing, water can get behind the decking and cause rot or mold. Additionally, not using flashing can void your home insurance policy. This means that if your deck floods, you won’t be covered.
On the other hand, if you do use flashing, be sure to use it properly. Many people make the mistake of not attaching the flashing securely or using the wrong type of caulk. As a result, their decks still end up leaking.
For example, in Toronto, you are required to use “self-adhesive flashing” when installing a deck. This type of flashing is designed to create a watertight seal.
4. Not securing the deck
Another common mistake that people make is not securing the deck to the house. If your deck is not properly secured, it can become detached from the house and collapse.
This is a particularly common problem with decks that are built on top of an existing deck. The weight of the new deck can cause the old deck to become detached from the house.
To avoid this problem, be sure to use lag bolts or carriage bolts to secure the deck to the house. These types of bolts create a very strong connection that will help keep your deck in place.
5. Not using proper fasteners
Another mistake that people make is not using the proper type of fasteners. Nails are not a good option for securing boards because they can easily come loose over time. Instead, you should use screws or bolts.
Additionally, it is important to use the right type of screw or bolt for the job. For example, if you are attaching boards to a wooden frame, you should use deck screws. These screws are specifically designed for this type of application and will create a stronger connection than other types of screws.
6. Not sealing the deck
If you don’t seal your deck, it will be more susceptible to damage from the elements. Water can seep into the boards and cause them to rot. Additionally, the sun can fade the color of the wood.
To avoid these problems, be sure to seal your deck with a water-resistant sealant. This will help protect the wood from water damage and keep it looking good for years to come.
7. Not cleaning the deck
Another mistake people make is not cleaning the deck regularly. Just like any other type of outdoor furniture, decks need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
If you don’t clean your deck, dirt and debris will build up on the surface. This can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can be difficult to remove.
To clean your deck, you should sweep it on a regular basis and use a hose to wash it down. You may also need to use a pressure washer to remove tough stains. Be sure to use the correct type of cleaner for your deck material.
Installing a deck can be a challenging but rewarding project. However, if you are not careful enough, you may make some common mistakes that can cause problems down the road. In this article, we have highlighted seven of the most common mistakes that people make when installing a deck. Be sure to avoid these mistakes, and your deck will last for years to come. Keep in mind that if you are not sure how to install a deck, it is always best to hire a professional.
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