deck imageBy Francie Healey

You might not think that a simple wooden deck would be such a big investment. Expensive? Yes, it can be. But it can increase the selling potential of your home. And it’s more than that. A good deck can be happy addition to your comfort, lifestyle, and the joy of relaxing outdoors. For some, that’s the best sort of investment of all.

The experts say if you’re not handy, you shouldn’t even think about tackling a big deck job yourself. There is a lot to know about building a deck, and things can go wrong. And when things go wrong with deck-building, it’s a sure way to wreck your whole summer.

Your first step will need to be to check safety, building, and land-use codes. Or you can let your professional renovator take care of all that for you. Your renovator will also know about frost lines, drainage, foundations and the most appropriate framing techniques.

Will you want a hot tub on your deck? If so, that will be a big thing your renovator will consider simply because of its weight. Then you’ll need to decide what kind of stairs you’d like, what sort of railings (wood? aluminum? glass?) and of course the material for the deck itself. Traditionally, people choose cedar or pressure-treated lumber, but you could also opt for redwood or tropical hardwoods that are noted for their density and hardness.

Your renovator or professional designer (often found within the same company) can help you decide about the shape of your deck and just where and how it should be placed.

A good deck, professionally built, will last for years and years of outdoor meals, quiet evenings, great entertaining, and the sweetness of nature right at home.

When November comes? Not so much fun. But at least you’ll have that beautiful deck to look forward to in Spring.

Francie Healey is the Ottawa Renovates editor. This article was originally posted on the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association RenoMark renovators blog.