Two Factors to Consider Before Building a Deck on Your Property

If you have arranged for a builder to construct a deck in your outdoor space, here are two factors which you should consider before the construction work gets underway.

The wood you will use

Most decks are made from wood. However, not all woods are equal, and as such, you'll need to think carefully about which variety is right for you and your home.

If you're on a budget, cedar is an excellent choice. In addition to being very affordable and having a wonderfully rich colour, it is also naturally resistant to moisture-induced rotting and light-induced fading. This natural resistance is the result of its own oils and tannins, which help to repel water and insects and serve as a protective barrier that prevents UV rays from causing discolouration.

It is important to note, however, that cedar is a softwood, and as such, may not be able to withstand the amount of heavy usage that hardwoods can. It may also need frequent sealing to ensure that it continues to repel moisture as it ages.

If you want your decking to last for as long as possible and you've got a bigger budget to work with, teak might be a better option. Teak is a hardwood which is extremely strong and can endure years of daily use without cracking or splitting.

Like cedar, it too produces natural oils that help to repel moisture. This will prevent it from warping when exposed to rainwater or humidity. It requires far less maintenance than cedar and, as such, is ideal if you don't have a lot of spare time to devote to cleaning and resealing your deck.

If the teak decking available in your local shops is just slightly out of your price range, it might be worth asking your construction contractor if they can source a cheaper supplier through their professional network of contacts.

The position of the deck

You should give plenty of thought to where you will have the deck built; ideally, your contractor should construct it in an area which offers adequate shade and privacy, as well as protection from the wind.

However, when selecting the location, your contractor will also need to take into consideration the issue of drainage. This is particularly important if you want a ground-level deck or one which will only be partially elevated, as a heavy downpour on a deck with poor drainage will leave the structure completely flooded.

With this in mind, it's best to choose an area of your property which is slightly sloped so that most of the rainwater that falls onto the deck will run off of it. Additionally, it's also a good idea to build it in an area that is covered in concrete or gravel, so that the sub-frame (which serves as the foundation of the deck and is usually made from wood) will not endure regular exposure to wet soil (this could lead to the sub-frame rotting).