Local Building Requirements
There are several specific rules and requirements for installing a deck governed by your local building department. The requirements for a deck will vary slightly for each town, so you’ll want to be sure to consult your local building department for a general overview of these requirements and what they will allow you to build size-wise.
After you have a solid understanding of the basic requirements, you can work with your contractor to create a detailed construction plan for the deck to submit to the building department for approval before starting the project.
You should use a survey to make sure the deck is constructed on property owned by you and also within the legal distance of the lot line.
Yard Size and the Deck’s Purpose
For practicality, you’ll have to consider the size and dimensions of your home and yard. If you don’t care about the size of your yard, a larger deck might be in the cards for you, but if you still want a lot of grass, you might want to make it smaller.
You’ll also want to consider what you plan on using the deck for. Are you going to be hosting many large gatherings? Is it just going to be you outside grilling? The purpose of the deck can help determine how big you want to make it.
Materials and Furniture Placement
If you’re considering composite decking, they come in 12′, 16′, and 20′ [boards]. Going wider than 20 feet will require a seam down the middle. Treated lumber can be cut to length and also butt-jointed easier.
Also, consider furniture setup and grill placement. Decks are starting to become outdoor living spaces, and you want to design them just like a living room set up.
Maintenance and Cost
You have to keep a couple of things in mind when deciding on the size of deck you are going to build. In my experience, the best thing you can do is to start small. You can always add extra space if you are not happy with the current size.
A deck will be a lot of maintenance, so keep this in mind while sizing it! The smaller you keep your deck the lower the cost will be for building it and keeping it clean.
The Deck’s Purpose, the Area, and Your Budget
1. Consider the purpose of the deck. Would you like to entertain your guests? Do you cook outdoors? Is it a private space? Do you want to make space for landscaping? Remember that different features require different spaces.
2. The size of the area where you will install the deck. The more space you have, the more size options you have. Also, consider the sun and shade, wind exposure, climate of your area, and the landscape.
3. Budget considerations. are factored into every decision, from the materials you choose to the accessories and design of the deck. It is best to do your research and get an estimate of the overall cost of building a deck.
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