Building a deck takes careful planning and there are a number of steps to consider long before the post holes are dug and the deck’s foundation is established.
First things first. Visit your city hall’s building department. Tell them you’re interested in building a deck and find out what the procedures are to begin the process. Not all villages are the same, so don’t make any assumptions until you’re up to speed on your village’s building code requirements.
Keep in mind that you’re adding a structure to the foundation of your home, so your home’s tax assessment may go up since a deck is looked at as additional living space. The bright side is that your home’s value should increase, too.
Oak, Cedar, Redwood, pressure treated lumber or composite decking? There are plenty of good choices. Deciding the deck’s layout or selecting a set of plans requires careful thought. Home centers like Menards offer a variety of deck plans and styles. These plans come with comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions as well as a materials list.
Don’t skimp on a good set of tools. A miter saw, circular saw, drill-driver or impact driver are indispensable. Menards’ new 18 volt MasterForce™ line with FlexPower™ technology allows you to choose any combination of battery power and performance. NiCad or lithium-ion, these cordless power tools are designed to work off either platform. Add with the 18V quick charge and, regardless of battery type, you’re at full power in 60 minutes, ready to tackle the next project.
A miter saw and stand are what’s needed for cutting the deck planks. The circular saw is the go to tool for cutting the ends of the planks once they’re fastened in place. What’s nice about an impact driver is that all the tool’s force or torque is channeled to the deck screws or lag bolts, not your wrist or forearm. The MasterForce impact driver has 800 in. lbs of torque with up to 2,700 blows per minute (bpm), plenty of power to drive fasteners all day.
When it comes time for buying deck screws, choose galvanized or stainless ones for rust resistance.
Building a deck is not a weekend warrior project. More realistically, from start to finish, the project may take six to eight weeks. It takes time and careful planning, but before you know it you’ll be in your favorite deck chair sipping an iced tea and marveling at its completion.