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8 Things You Must Know Before You Build a Deck

8 Things You Must Know Before You Build a Deck

Building a deck is an excellent way to extend your living space and create an outdoor oasis for relaxation and entertainment. However, before moving on this exciting project, there are several crucial factors to consider. Here, we’ll discuss 8 essential things you must know before building a deck to ensure a successful, safe, and enjoyable outcome.

  1. Building Codes and Permits: Before starting any construction, familiarize yourself with local building codes and zoning regulations. These rules dictate aspects such as deck size, height, and setback distances from property lines. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in fines, delays, or even the need to remove the deck altogether.
  2. Deck Purpose and Design: Consider the primary purpose of your deck. Will it be used for dining, lounging, or entertaining? This will help determine the size, layout, and features of your deck. Consider factors such as privacy, sun exposure, and views when planning your deck’s location and orientation.
  3. Material Selection: There are numerous decking materials available, each with its own advantages and drawbacks. Popular options include pressure-treated lumber, cedar, tropical hardwoods, and composite materials. Consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, and cost when selecting your decking material. Don’t forget to choose a material that complements your home’s exterior and fits within your budget.
  4. Foundation and Framing: A sturdy foundation and proper framing are essential for a safe and long-lasting deck. Ensure that your deck is supported by a stable foundation, such as concrete footings or piers, that extend below the frost line. Use pressure-treated lumber for the frame and joists, and follow proper spacing and fastening techniques to ensure structural integrity.
  5. Ledger Board Attachment: If your deck is attached to your house, the ledger board is a critical component that requires special attention. The ledger board must be securely fastened to the house’s rim joist using bolts or lag screws. Improperly attached ledger boards can lead to deck collapses and serious injuries. Ensure that the ledger board is flashed properly to prevent water damage to your home’s structure.
  6. Lighting Incorporating: lighting into your deck design can extend its usability into the evening hours and create a cozy ambiance. Consider installing low-voltage lighting along stairs, railings, and posts for safety and aesthetics.
  7. Maintenance and Upkeep: Regular maintenance is essential to keep your deck looking great and structurally sound. Depending on your decking material, maintenance tasks may include cleaning, staining, sealing, and replacing damaged boards. Develop a maintenance schedule and stick to it to extend the life of your deck and prevent costly repairs down the line.
  8. Hiring a Professional: While building a deck can be a rewarding DIY project, it’s essential to recognize when it’s time to hire a professional. If you lack the necessary skills, tools, or time, or if your deck design is complex, consider hiring a licensed and experienced contractor. A professional can ensure that your deck is built to code, structurally sound, and finished to a high standard.


Building a deck is a significant investment that can enhance your home’s value and provide years of outdoor enjoyment. By considering these 8 essential factors before starting your project, you can ensure that your deck is safe, functional, and beautiful. Remember to plan carefully, select high-quality materials, and prioritize safety and maintenance to create an outdoor space that you and your family will cherish for years to come.


Trust the Experts in Composite Deck Installation

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options or are ready to start building, Decked Out Builders is here to be your trusted deck-building partner. Our team of skilled professionals has decades of experience as premier composite deck builders in Illinois and Wisconsin. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about composite decking materials and can help you schedule a design consultation when you’re ready to move forward.

In addition to custom composite decks, we offer a range of other outdoor living services, including porches, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, and more. Browse our portfolio of showpiece custom decks and request your free quote today to start turning your outdoor living dreams into reality.