5 things to know before you build a deck
If you’re looking to build a new backyard deck or replace an old one, here are five factors to consider before the first board gets nailed into place, according to Wally Montpetit, the owner of Fence-All, an Ottawa company that has been installing decks and fences for 42 years.
Before you build your deck, know what you are going to use it for. Is it for an outdoor dining space or simply a place to lounge around? Understanding your needs will go a long way toward designing a deck that you will use and enjoy for years to come.
“Most people don’t stop to think why they want a deck,” said Montpetit. “They just think ‘deck’ and don’t give much thought of what they’re going to do out there.”
According to Montpetit, most people underestimate how big their deck should be.
“For the average homeowner, four by eight feet sounds pretty big, but that’s the size of a sheet of plywood,” said Montpetit. “You’re not going to spend much time out there on something that size because you’re not going to be able to do anything.”
When it comes to things like sun, shade, wind and privacy, every yard is different, but you have to take these variables into account when laying out your deck.
“The sun can be a killer,” said Montpetit. “People don’t use their deck if it’s too hot.”
Rather than putting up a tarp, Fence-All’s owner recommends adding a pergola to break up the sun. It doesn’t add much more expense, but makes the deck much more valuable and usable. Steps and stairways on the deck need to be placed in a manner that makes it easy for people to get from the house to the yard. Montpetit says too many people put the stairs on an edge of the deck facing the backyard door, which causes congestion when there are many people.
Don’t just think utilitarian. Turn your deck into something unique that will become the focal point of your backyard.
“Some backyards have a pool or a big statue that is going to catch your eye as a focal point, but a lot of backyards are just a bunch of green grass. By putting up a deck, you are building something special that people will focus on,” said Montpetit.
For more information, call 613736-1122 or visit www.fenceall.com.
Choose a deck that is the appropriate size for your backyard, advises Wally Montpetit, owner of Fence-All.