Home building tips | Building decks that will last longer.

29 August 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Decks are a welcome addition to many homes due to their style and look. They are typically built outdoors to provide an extended living space and are a great alternative for patios. Despite their allure, decks have to be built with sufficient expertise to ensure they are durable and of high quality. Failure to do this will mean you'll have to contend with constant repairs and refurbishing that will cost both time and money. If you are a hard-core DIY enthusiast with the intention of building a deck for your home, here are some tips to make it durable.

Use screw piles for the foundation.

For any building to thrive, a good foundation is an absolute necessity. Decks are no exception. A solid base is needed to withstand any forces or movements that may cause the deck to shift. The most notable of such movements is the frost heave. In winter, the water in the soil may freeze and expand, causing the ground to heave upwards. To guarantee stability, screw piles are a very good option. They consist of tubular steel shafts that are screwed into the ground for anchorage; going deep into the ground below the frost line. Frost heave is therefore no longer an issue. Furthermore, the piles can be galvanized to protect them from corrosion while in the soil. Remember to be accurate with their positioning and keep them level for the best effect.

Suitable wood selection.

Select high-quality wood for your deck to ensure it lasts. Red cedar is a good choice if you want that natural look. It is rot resistant and doesn't readily absorb moisture, so there isn't any twisting or cracking of the wood. Another option is pressure-treated wood. The wood is very durable, and many of them often come with lifetime warranties from their manufacturers. Staining will help extend their lifespan even more. However, take care to avoid poor quality brands since they tend to warp when they dry. Composite decking is the most durable option yet remains maintenance-free. It is a combination of plastics and wood chips made to look like natural wood. However, composite decking can be quite expensive.

Maintain gaps between the boards.

When building your deck, make sure you leave gaps between the boards on the floor. Many people opt to avoid gaps altogether in order to give their decks a better look. This is a mistake since this will allow debris to collect. Furthermore, moisture will easily saturate the dirt and later damage the wood. Instead, leave gaps between the boards that will allow debris to fall through as you sweep and prevent moisture accumulation.