At the top of many homeowner’s spring to-do list, there are the words: “Build a Deck”. Whether you are planning on building a completely new structure, adding on to an old one, or simply making a few tweaks to some boards, safety should be the top priority for anyone remodelling their deck this spring.
Before you begin construction, keep in mind these five best practices for building a safe deck:
Choose Long-Lasting Materials
The first thing you should think about when planning your deck remodel is what kind of materials you will use. Composite decking is a growing trend in the industry, and for good reason. While reflecting the beauty of natural wood, this material lasts longer while resisting decay, and requires less maintenance than standard wood decking, keeping your family safer for longer. Composite deck brands available at McCray Lumber and Millwork include Deckorators, Trex, Zuri, and Fiberon.
Distribute Weight Appropriately
Gravity and weight play major roles when it comes to the safety of your deck, so your design better take them into consideration. Think not only about the people and furniture that your deck will need to support, but also the forces that come from wind, hail, and snow that can cause strain on critical support points on your structure. Distribute the support for your deck – joists, beams, etc. – appropriately with these factors in mind.
Use the Correct Fasteners
One of the best ways to ensure a safe deck is to create a continuous load path during construction. A continuous load path is created when a series of fasteners and connectors form a series of interlocking support in the frame of your deck. While they may seem like a small element, using the right fasteners in the right way is vital to the lifespan and safety of your space. McCray Lumber and Millwork carries a full line of Simpson Strong-Tie fasteners for your deck.
Pair with Additional Safety Features
Even with a continuous load path and all of the beam support in the world, your deck can still be made safer with additional features such as sturdy railing and light fixtures. Giving people a place to support themselves and additional light to keep from tripping only helps to better the safety of your outdoor space.
Perform Regular Maintenance
The ultimate way to make sure the deck you build this spring stays safe for years to come is to conduct regular maintenance. Take the time to inspect support areas under your deck each year, and keep an eye out for any decay caused by weather or insects. By finding problem areas early and addressing them fast, you will save both money and time in the long run.
To learn more or to get started building your own deck this spring, visit McCray Lumber and Millwork.