5 things to know be­fore you build a deck

Ottawa Citizen - - SPORTS - SPON­SORED BY FENCE-ALL THINK ABOUT WHY YOU WANT A DECK PICK A DECK THAT’S THE RIGHT SIZE EVAL­U­ATE THE EN­VI­RON­MENT OF YOUR YARD PLAN AROUND THE TRAF­FIC FLOW MAKE YOUR DECK A FO­CAL POINT

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.

SUP­PLIED

Choose a deck that is the ap­pro­pri­ate size for your back­yard, ad­vises Wally Mont­petit, owner of Fence-All.

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